Stephens Media Suspends 401(k) Match for Employees

Stephens Media, owner of the daily Southwest Times Record at Fort Smith, the Pine Bluff Commercial and The Morning News at Springdale, as well as the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock, is suspending its 401(k) match program effective immediately.

Mark Hengel and Gwen Moritz have the story on ArkansasBusiness.com:

Stephens Media LLC, the Las Vegas newspaper company owned by Little Rock’s Stephens family, has informed employees that their retirement plan contributions will no longer be matched.

“Effective with the payroll beginning January 31, 2009, matching contributions to the Stephens Media Retirement Savings Plan (401k Plan), will be temporarily suspended for the remainder of the year,” President and CEO Sherman R. Frederick wrote in a letter to employees dated Jan. 31. “I take this step reluctantly, but it is necessary in order to help us maintain the financial health of the company.”

More here.

Stephens also owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal. In his letter, Frederick noted that some of the biggest blows in the recession have landed in that market. But he also said all the company’s papers have been “significantly affected.”

Stephens conducted a round of layoffs last year. Among those let go: Aaron Sadler, a Washington D.C. bureau reporter covering the Arkansas delegation. Sadler now works in communications for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

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7 Responses

  1. […] Planning: If you’re a Stephens Media employee, your life just got perceptibly worse. And there you were thinking that wasn’t possible! (Lance Turner’s Unimaginatively […]

  2. […] Planning: If you’re a Stephens Media employee, your life just got perceptibly worse. And there you were thinking that wasn’t possible! (Lance Turner’s Unimaginatively […]

  3. […] The Morning News at Springdale, as well as the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock, suspended its 401(k) match program last month. And it previously laid off workers at its Washington D.C. […]

  4. […] The Morning News at Springdale, as well as the Arkansas News Bureau in Little Rock, suspended its 401(k) match program last month. And it previously laid off workers at its Washington D.C. […]

  5. […] standard operating procedure for all sorts of media companies in this recession, as we’ve noted […]

  6. […] standard operating procedure for all sorts of media companies in this recession, as we’ve noted […]

  7. Apparently Stephens Media decided not to throw away their own money on non-producing Stephens Financial 401k funds.

    If you look at their stock fund producrivity, all of their funds have LOST money every year over the last decade. I jerked all of my CS 401k out of the stock funds and dumped it all in bonds. Instead of loosing money every year on my 401k, I now make a whopping 2% – 3% at max.

    Yee Haw!

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