USA Today publisher Gannett announced a series of pay cuts and mandatory furloughs on Monday in the latest economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis.
Gannett executives will take a 25 percent pay cut and CEO Paul Bascobert will forgo his salary entirely until the pay reductions and furloughs cease and the coronavirus pandemic has subsided, Bascobert said in a memo to staffers.
The furloughs will apply on a rolling basis to staffers who make over $38,000 a year through June, Maribel Wadsworth, Gannett’s president of news and publisher of USA Today, said.
Bascobert’s memo asked staffers from across Gannett’s newspapers to make a “collective sacrifice” to get through the crisis, which has taken a major toll on newspapers’ advertising revenues.
“I don’t think any of us expected events to progress so quickly,” Bascobert said in unveiling the cuts, which he said would take place “as soon as this week.”
“Direct sold advertising has already slowed and many businesses paused their scheduled marketing campaigns,” the memo said.
Bascobert noted a spike in digital traffic and online subscription as people rush to read about the coronavirus, but said it wasn’t enough to offset ad losses.
“Overall though, we expect our revenue to decline considerably during this period and we need to address this situation head on.”