Media General to suspend 401(k) matching
Richmond, Va.-based Media General Inc., the parent company of the Tampa Tribune and Tampa's WFLA-Channel 8 NBC affiliate, in April will suspend its contribution to employee 401(k) retirement plans because of what the company called extremely tough business conditions. So reports today's Richmond Times-Dispatch, Media General's hometown newspaper. The suspension will last at least through the end of the year. Media General CEO Marshall N. Morton said in a letter to employees:
"When the economy improves, making the job market more competitive, the employer contribution should return to attract and retain personnel."
Media General publishes 24 daily newspapers and about 275 weekly newspapers and other publications. It also owns and operates 19 network-affiliated TV stations. Company shares traded at $2.79 in mid-afternoon trading.
The cost-cutting move comes amid a flurry of actions by newspaper companies to cut costs or seek fresh capital. Among recent actions: Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim taking a $250-million stake in the New York Times company, and Gannett's decision to close the Tucson Citizen, the city's smaller afternoon paper, if a buyer cannot be found by March 21.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist