Gannett announces mass layoffs, pay cuts, furloughs
McLean-based media giant is America's largest newspaper publisher.
McLean-based Gannett Co. Inc., the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, sent an email to employees Monday announcing mass layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts, according to The Daily Beast. Like other media outlets, the company has reportedly a large drop in advertising revenues recently due to the financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gannett has a portfolio of 261 local daily newspapers in 46 states and Guam, including its flagship publication USA Today, as well as the Arizona Republic, the Des Moines Register and the Burlington Free Press.
“Everyone will be touched by these changes in some form,” Gannett CEO Paul Bascobert wrote in the email leaked to The Daily Beast. “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.”
Asking workers to make a “collective sacrifice,” Bascobert said he will not take an annual salary until the situation changes and top Gannett executives would take a 25% pay cut. Many Gannett workers will be furloughed for five days per month from now until June.
Wrote Bascobert: “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.”