News Media Outlets Have Been Ravaged by the Pandemic

News Media Outlets Have Been Ravaged by the Pandemic

Euclid Media Group

The owner of weeklies in cities like Cincinnati, Detroit and San Antonio laid off roughly 50 employees and furloughed 7, about 70 to 80 percent of its staff, in mid-March. “We will do whatever we do, one day at a time and scrap our way through this,” said Michael Wagner, the chief operating officer. Euclid’s revenue had sunk quickly because of pandemic-related drops in advertising and the company’s events business.

Gannett

Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, The Detroit Free Press and more than 250 other daily newspapers, has ordered the majority of its 24,000 employees to take five days off per month without pay in April, May and June, staff memos revealed, and executives will take a 25 percent pay cut. Paul Bascobert, the chief executive, said he would not take his salary until the crisis was over. The NewsGuild, which represents journalists at several Gannett papers, criticized the plan. “Our nation simply cannot afford to furlough or lay off journalists and other news industry employees in this time of crisis,” said the union’s president, Jon Schleuss.

G/O Media

The owner of Gizmodo, Jezebel, The Onion and Deadspin laid off 14 people, or less than 5 percent of its employees, its chief executive, Jim Spanfeller, announced on April 3.

Group Nine Media

The publisher of The Dodo and NowThis laid off roughly 50 people, or 7 percent of its work force, on April 7, a spokeswoman said. Earlier, Group Nine had suspended 401(k) matches, put raises on hold, instituted a hiring freeze and cut executive pay 25 percent. Ben Lerer, the chief executive, will forgo his salary for six months.

In-flight magazines

A magazine genre caught between the stalled airlines industry and the troubled media business is in jeopardy. Sky magazine, which had been stuffed into seat backs of Delta jets for a decade, is no more, said Deb Hopp, a spokeswoman for the publishing company MSP-C. Its 16 staff members were laid off. In addition, Alaska Airlines has canceled the April and May issues of Alaska Beyond Magazine.

Lee Enterprises

With more than 70 papers, including The Buffalo News and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this national chain has instituted pay cuts and furloughs for its employees, according to a staff memo from Kevin Mowbray, the chief executive. Executives have taken a 20 percent pay cut. Lee Enterprises got bigger in January, when it bought 31 newspapers for $140 million from Berkshire Hathaway, whose chief executive, Warren Buffett, called the newspaper business “toast” last year.

McClatchy

In February, before coronavirus cases rose sharply in the United States, McClatchy, whose dailies include The Kansas City Star, The Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee, filed for bankruptcy. On Thursday, the chief executive Craig Forman said the decline in ads required a “leave of absence” for about 120 non-newsroom employees — or less than five percent of the work force, according to a spokeswoman. In addition, the company laid off four executives, and Mr. Forman will take a 50 percent pay cut.


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