1977 'Downhold' Memo

Here's a March 15, 1977, memo from Frank Tremaine to International Division Managers, News and Pix Managers, Domestic General News and Pix Managers and Domestic General Executives:


Bob Page, who is traveling, asked me to remind everyone that the downhold is still on. You all have seen the January figures. February's will show little improvement. In March, we will absorb increased salary and fringe benefit costs under the Guild contract in the U.S.

We constructed a tough budget for 1977 which will require the best efforts of every manager and staffer to meet. We are running behind it so far. This means that every bureau manager and every executive must examine the need for every dollar he or she spends or authorizes. Please get that across to every manager and regional executive in your areas.

We have requested weekly messages from every bureau reporting on expense bulges in the previous week and forecasting bulges anticipated in the coming week. The purpose is threefold--

1) to make bureau managers aware of their own over-budget 
expenditures or commitments
2) to alert Regional and International product managers and Division
managers to potential problems
3) to put the NX Budget Control Committee closer to developing budget

The key to expense control lies with the bureaus and the division and regional product managers. They spend the money and/or authorize unusual expenditures. Only they can hold expenditures within budget limitations and be sure that there is cushion for the emergencies that are sure to come.

When bureau budget messages report frequent bulges, find out why. If action is indicated, please take it.

The other side of the budget coin is revenue. We are running behind so far this year but that is to be anticipated because the revenue budget is a monthly average figure which anticipates improvements scheduled or forecast for later months. But if you see revenue problems in your areas such as failure of anticipated new business to develop, please notify us promptly.

Best regards,

Frank Tremaine

cc: Beaton  Page  Stevenson  Lyon  Ketter  Bock  Caughey  Greene  Buckner