American Media Inc., publisher of the National Enquirer and Star, is freshly emerged from bankruptcy, and already cutting costs with layoffs and mandatory unpaid furloughs. Now, we hear AMI's beleaguered employees are on the verge of total revolt.
Since emerging from bankruptcy at the end of last month, AMI has announced that it's merging the LA newsrooms of Star and the Enquirer (and cutting jobs in the process), and that all employees "must take a three-day unpaid furlough before the end of the current fiscal quarter on March 31."
Those things were bad enough—especially after CEO David Pecker (pictured, with Playboy bunny) reassured employees of the company's strong financial health as soon as it came out of bankruptcy. But now, word is circulating among AMI employees that Pecker and a handful of other executives stand to receive hefty bonuses for their work on the bankruptcy. "The anger among the employees is widespread and morale is shot," an insider tells us. It's so bad that there have already been discussions of legal action by the employees, and/ or a "job action" from the rank and file. The immediate goal: to get rid of Pecker.
"Everybody believes the company would be better off without David Pecker," says an insider. "His mismanagement, dishonesty and incompetence drove the company into bankruptcy. And now he and other executives are getting even more rich on the backs of good people who have worked very hard over the years for AMI. The stakeholders and employees would benefit greatly from new leadership and we are hoping the company's board of directors takes action soon."
Employees at AMI are worried that more layoffs are looming. But they don't seem ready to fade away quietly.
[Photo via Getty Images]