Advertising slump

More staff cuts due at Herald group amid revenue slump

Sunday National and Herald on Sunday - first copies

Paper cuts: company cannot support staff levels

Newsquest, which publishes 160 titles including The Herald titles in Glasgow, is expected to announce further redundancies after “heavy declines” in revenue.

Chief executive Henry Faure-Walker told employees that the company was “unable to support” current staffing levels.

The company, part of a US-based media business, he hopes all staff will have their full salaries reinstated from 1 October after implementing a 15% wage cut in March for those earning more than £18,000.

However, he admitted that “very heavy declines” in revenues over the past three months meant the company could not return to pre-Covid staffing levels.

In an email to staff, he said: “There is no escaping the fact that April and May were extremely challenging months for our revenues.  June has seen a small pick up in advertising activity, which we are encouraged about, but it is still a long way off pre-Covid levels and we expect the trading environment to be challenging for some time.

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“Unfortunately, the very heavy declines in our revenues and the weak economic outlook means that we are unable to operate with and support the staff numbers that we had pre-Covid.

“I am afraid that this means that there will be redundancies and we will commence consultation with people who may be affected by this in the coming days.

“Advertising sales roles – which are most directly affected by the Covid downturn – will experience the most restructuring. Whilst some editorial roles are likely to be affected, we believe we can maintain the vast majority of journalist jobs and sustain front line reporter resource in particular.”

On staff pay, he wrote: “We plan to return all our staff to their normal pay levels from 1 October, unless there is a significant deterioration in the trading recovery and Covid situation.

“From July 1, we will be reducing the amount of the pay reduction for non-furloughed staff by increasing the earnings threshold at which the 15% reduction applies from £18k to £22k – this means that people earning less than £22k basic salary will not have any of their pay reduced, and people earning more than £22k will see an improvement.”

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