Belo Makes Cuts

A.H. Belo Corp., owner of The Dallas Morning News and three other daily newspapers, plans to cut employee salaries by as much as 15 percent next month, the Morning News reported, and suspend its retirement supplement to pension plan participants next year.

Robert W. Decherd, A. H. Belo’s chairman, president and chief executive, said the move comes at “one of the most trying advertising environments our industry has ever encountered,” the story said.

“These decisions are not taken lightly and all are made with a focus toward maintaining A. H. Belo’s ability to be the leading provider of local news, information and advertising in the markets it serves,” Decherd said in a letter to employees, according to the story.

Decherd will take a 20 percent base salary cut, the story said. It added that other salary reductions will be made on a sliding scale, ranging from 15 percent for people making more than $225,000 to 2.5 percent for people with salaries between $25,001 and $74,999.

No cuts will occur for people earning $25,000 or less.

The salary reductions, which will begin on or near May 1, will save the company more than $10 million a year, Decherd said.

“In addition, A. H. Belo said it would suspend its 2009 pension supplement, which would normally be made in 2010, preserving about $6 million in cash next year,” the story said. “The company still plans to make its 2008 contribution to the plan by October 15, 2009.”

In addition to the Morning News, Belo owns The Providence (R.I.) Journal; The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif.; and the Denton (Tex.) Record-Chronicle.