“I enjoyed your roundup of paltry Christmas bonuses, mostly because I identified with the sentiment expressed by the writers,” writes a staffer at The Chronicle in Centralia, Washington. (The journalist requests anonymity.)
“The largest bonus I’ve received during my years at newspapers was a $25 gift card to a local grocery store” — until this week.
On Wednesday, Chronicle publisher Christine Fossett walked around the newsroom and distributed red envelopes to staffers. They contained a letter from the owner, Jenifer Lafromboise Falcon, and a profit-sharing check for $1,386.01.
Falcon, who inherited the company after her mother died in January, wrote in her letter:
Personally and professionally it’s been a difficult year for me, trying to find my way without my mom’s wisdom and guidance. I want to thank each and every one of you for every blood, sweat and tear shed to make this year a year she would have been proud of!
“Every full-time employee in the company [Lafromboise Communication] — which includes one three-day a week newspaper, three weeklies, a printing enterprise and a sign business (about 80 employees) — received the same amount,” says my tipster. “We’d been told earlier in the year that [Falcon] intended to deliver checks as part of a profit-sharing plan. Of course the cynics in the newsroom and elsewhere didn’t give the announcement much credence. …[But] there was an incredible amount of joy in the newsroom and, I imagine, across the company” when the checks were delivered Wednesday.
The Chronicle owner and publisher weren’t around today to talk to me.
Falcon’s letter to employees is after the jump. Read More