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East Valley Tribune Employees to Take Five-Day Furlough; Parent Company Mandating Unpaid Leave for Other Papers, Too

Laying off 40 percent of the employees at the East Valley Tribune wasn't enough for Freedom Communications, the local paper's Orange County parent company.

The Trib's publisher, Julie Moreno, announced this morning that remaining employees must take five days of unpaid leave between April 1 and June 30, says an article on the newspaper's Web site.

In the article, Freedom CEO Scott Flanders says the mandatory furlough will allow the company to reduce expenses "while still allowing us to maximize operations." He goes on to say:

Freedom continues to generate positive cash flow, and we see the furlough program as a sound business and financial move to help weather the present severe economic conditions that we believe will improve by year-end.

"Fur-cations" as they're called in a recent Arizona Republic article, are by no means limited to newspapers these days. New Times was chatting with an Arizona State University employee last weekend who told us the days off were kind of nice -- until he looked at his paycheck.

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