First Energy to Cut Some Executive Positions

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The job cuts aren't immediate, but First Energy has just completed a study which all but guarantees imminent staff reductions.

Despite announcing record 2008 profits this week, the utility also reported a slump in power sales at the end of last year, necessitating less company spending.

Spokeswoman Ellen Raines says while job cuts are difficult, and the last option, examining likely trends and sales for 2009 forced the company to look at cost-saving measures.

ELLEN RAINES: "We have already begun cutting our operating budgets, delaying some of our capital expenditures..."

The company hopes to achieve some of the job cuts through attrition and eliminating unfilled positions, but would not place a firm number on this round of cuts, nor rule out more in the future.

Raines also said recent rulings by the PUCO to reduce requested rate hikes did not factor into the decision.

ELLEN RAINES: "This is strictly about the economic downturn and its affect on our company. When it affects our customers, it affects our company."
First Energy says unionized workers among its 14 thousand employees will not be impacted by these reductions.

Rick Jackson, 90.3.

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