Media Giant Gannett Issues Staff-Wide Pay Cuts And Furloughs Because Of Coronavirus

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Gannett, one of America’s largest media companies, will be making big company-wide pay cuts and furloughs because of decreased advertising amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The company will be asking for a “collective sacrifice” from staff in an email sent by CEO Paul Bascobert, The Daily Beast reported Monday. The pay cuts will begin “as soon as this week,” according to the email, and come as a result of reduced revenue from advertisements.

“Everyone will be touched by these changes in some form,” Bascobert wrote. “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.” (REPORT: Bob Iger To Forgo Salary, Top Disney Executives Take Pay Cuts Amid Coronavirus Crisis)

“We realize these actions will put economic hardship on all of you and I don’t take these measures lightly. I would simply and humbly say ‘thank you.’ Our goal is to ensure that when we get through these difficult times, we emerge fully able to continue our important role serving our readers, clients and communities.”

The media company oversees newspapers like USA Today, the Des Moines Register, the Arizona Republic and others. Many Gannett staffers will be furloughed five days a week until June, according to The Daily Beast.

Bascobert also announced he will not accept a yearly salary until these new decisions have been reversed. Other executives at the company will have their pay reduced by 25%.

Despite traffic and online subscriptions increasing, direct advertising has decreased, according to Gannett’s CEO. Revenue is expected to “decline considerably” as the novel coronavirus crisis continues.

“There will be some position eliminations as our normal course of business,” according to the memo. “But that is different than a companywide or division-wide layoff.”

Other publications have announced changes in an attempt to remain active as coronavirus shuts down companies and business across the country. Buzzfeed announced last week that some staffers would see reduced pay, The Daily Beast reported.