Gannett informed journalists across its 262 newspapers, which include USA Today, that some newsroom employees will be furloughed over the next three months as advertising revenue drops amid the CCP virus pandemic.
Gannett CEO Paul Bascobert wrote to staff in an email that the company would furlough some workers and cut the pay of others as soon as this week.
“By choosing a collective sacrifice, we can keep our staff intact, reduce our cost structure, deliver for our readers and clients, and be ready to emerge strong and with opportunity to grow when this crisis passes,” Bascobert wrote.
“Everyone will be touched by these changes in some form. For some it will be economic, for others it will mean covering the work of a colleague on furlough, for many it will be both.”
Gannett’s executive team will be taking a 25 percent reduction in pay and Bascobert will be taking no pay until the furloughs and pay cuts are reversed.
An FAQ page (pdf) sent to employees said that managers will speak to workers if they’re affected by the cost-saving measures.
Another memo obtained by news outlets sent by USA Today Network President Maribel Wadsworth said some employees who earn more than $38,000 a year will have to take one week of unpaid leave in each of the next three months.
The furloughs and pay cuts come after Gannett fired 97 people in February.
Gannett is the name of a company that was bought by GateHouse Media last year for $1.1 billion. Gannett remains one of the largest newspaper publishers in the world. Among the biggest papers it publishes are the Arizona Republic, the Columbus Dispatch, the Detroit Free Press, as well as The Record and the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey.
Furloughs, Firings Across Nation
Newspaper and other media companies across the United States have been furloughing workers in recent weeks.
The Advocate in Louisiana temporarily furloughed several dozen staff members last week, ordering the rest of the staff to work only four days a week. San Diego Magazine announced it was shutting down, and D Magazine in Dallas announced it was laying off 15 people and cutting pay for other staffers.
The Tampa Bay Times laid off at least 11 journalists and announced this week that it would furlough some staff members and cut the pay of others.
Among other media organizations making moves, Sports Illustrated cut 6 percent of its editorial staff, BuzzFeed cut the pay of all employees, and the Los Angeles Times cut print sections.