Daily Mirror owner Reach cuts wages, furloughs 20% of staff

Reach also owns the Daily Star, Daily and Sunday Express and several other brands

Daily Mirror-owner Reach will furlough 20 per cent of staff, cut staff wages by 10 per cent and management pay by 20 per cent while keeping all of its regional and national titles operating in the coronavirus crisis, it said on Monday.

The company, which suspended bonus payments for 2020, had asked to defer payments to its pension funds and will no longer pay a final dividend for the 2019 financial year, it added.

Reach, which also owns the Daily Star, Express and several other brands, has about 4,573 permanent employees across 58 locations, according to its latest annual report.

The British publisher's move follows similar actions by US peer Gannett, which last week suspended quarterly dividend payouts and implemented actions to reduce its workforce and furlough its employees as it warned of a revenue hit.


Challenging times

Shares in the London-listed firm have fallen nearly 40 per cent so far this year compared with Gannett’s 87 per cent collapse. Reach’s stock was down about 9 per cent in midday trading.

"These are very challenging times," chief executive Jim Mullen said.

“It remains difficult to predict the duration and long-term impact of the crisis on our sector so it is key we take proactive measures now on costs to protect jobs and the Reach business for the long term.”

Last month, the company said it expected the pandemic to hurt its advertising, print circulation and events businesses because of lower traffic, adding that outlet closures and event delays or cancellations may be necessary.

Reach said it has taken several actions to conserve cash and has taken measures including renegotiations with suppliers, cancellation of orders and negotiated payment delays.

– Reuters