The Los Angeles Times’ advertising revenue has “nearly been eliminated,” according to an internal memo from Chris Argentieri, president-Chief Operations Officer of the California Times newspaper group, which also includes the San Diego Union-Tribune and other local publications in Southern California.
“Public health guidelines related to the coronavirus have led to both unforeseen reduced revenue and unplanned expenses for our company,” he wrote. “The decline in revenue from every area of our business is unprecedented.”
Senior managers on both the editorial and business sides of the company will have reduced pay for 12 weeks, Argentieri announced. The reduction will range from 5% to 15%, depending on annual salary.
“Certain employees” on the business side will be furloughed for up to 16 weeks (or four months), without pay, but retain health-insurance benefits.
The changes will go into effect on April 19.
401(k) contributions are suspended for non-union employees until the end of the year.
When reached for comment, the L.A. Times did not specify how many employees would be impacted.
In a statement shared on Twitter, the L.A. Times Guild said union representatives plan “to meet with management soon to learn more and to urge full support for our news operations during this global emergency.”
In his memo, Argentieri expressed hope “these will be temporary measures,” as the company seeks “to stabilize our operating budget and begin planning for a return to business as usual — or a modified version of it, as humankind adapts to life with COVID-19.”
Published: April 14, 2020
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