Irish Times cuts senior manager and editor pay by up to 30%

Temporary measures announced in response to Covid-19 crisis

The Irish Times: Revenue declines as a result of Covid-19.

The Irish Times: Revenue declines as a result of Covid-19.

 

The Irish Times has announced a temporary pay cut of up to 30 per cent for higher-paid managers and editors in the group as part of a series of immediate cost-reduction measures.

The pay cuts of between 10 and 30 per cent will be in place for a three-month period as the news publisher manages the fallout from the Covid-19 crisis.

Other salaries will be maintained with the support of the Government subsidy scheme, the company told staff on Thursday.

Reduced working hours may be required in some cases, and a recruitment freeze has been introduced across the organisation.

Executive and non-executive directors of the Irish Times DAC and the Irish Times Trust have waived their fees for six months, while the chairmen of the company and the trust have waived their salaries for this period.

The company will also target a range of non-payroll costs.

Irish Times managing director Liam Kavanagh said the impact of coronavirus was “very significant” and had led to a decline in revenues, particularly in advertising.

Mr Kavanagh welcomed the introduction of the Government’s employment subsidy scheme, but said it would not be enough to compensate for the loss of revenue at the group, which also publishes the Irish Examiner and the Echo.

He said the measures announced would protect the company over the next three months and that action was needed now to limit the longer-term impact.

Media cutbacks

The move follows pay cuts across most other Irish news media outlets, including radio group Communicorp, the publisher of the Business Post and Journal Media, which has closed down its business site Fora.

Certain employees of Independent News & Media (INM) have also had their pay cut, while some 90 commercial staff at INM have had their hours reduced or been temporarily laid off. Temporary layoffs have been common across the regional press too, with the group Iconic Newspapers also making four employees redundant.

It is on track to be a difficult 2020 for Irish media, despite a recent surge in news audiences, as many advertisers have suspended or cancelled spending.

Last week, marketing group Core forecast that advertising revenues across the Irish market would plunge 30 per cent this year.