It's very disheartening to see The New York Times Company pull the same disgusting stunt that the company's flagship paper, in its editorials and op ed columns, has criticized other companies for doing.
As revenues are declining, as the company is threatening to shut down one of New England's most important news outlets -- The Boston Globe, as staff has been cut across the board including in the newsroom, and as the company forced a mandatory 5% pay cut on its non-union employees, its President and CEO, Janet Robinson, accepted a 35% pay raise, hiking her annual salary from $4.1 million to $5.5 million. Other top execs got similar raises, as reported by Paul Tharp in The New York Post Thursday.
Yes, Ms. Robinson has brought many innovations during her 5-year tenure at the helm of the company, and she was rewarded with the top job after a strong job running various components of the NY Times Company.
And yes, the poor performance of The Times can't be totally laid at her feet. Newspaper and media companies everywhere are having a horrendous time, although in some cases (possibly including The Times -- I'm not sure), those media companies are struggling even more in this downturn because they took on excessively heavy debt to finance acquisitions.
So, as Ms. Robinson gets a pay raise of $1.5 million, other jobs are being cut, unions are being asked to make concessions, and other workers have to pull in their belts because they've just been handed a 5% pay cut, regardless of whether they've been doing a good job.
Meanwhile, from The New York Times Company's own website:
Apr. 21, 2009-- The New York Times Company announced today a first-quarter
The website also has a lengthy section called "Ethics in Journalism," which details the company's focus on journalistic integrity. But what about "Ethics in Business"?
And what about the public relations impact of this obnoxious move? Where were the company's p.r. execs to tell management, "Hey guys, let's rethink that raise at this point in time." Let's face it, Ms. Robinson and others in top management can get increases in other less visible ways, with various perks. But an out-and-out increase that could have instead kept a dozen or more people on the job or saved $1.5 million from operating expenses is just a bad p.r. move and bad from so many other angles.
I am very disappointed in The New York Times.