Hearst CEO Promises No Layoffs, 1% Salary Bump

Hearst CEO Steven Swartz is promising no layoffs, furloughs or pay cuts in light of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic — and pledged a 1% bonus to all employees.

According to Poynter, which first reported the news, Swartz made the announcement to publishers and editors in a conference call this week.

Hearst is also purchasing television ads in a few markets to promote its newspapers and coverage of the COVID-19 virus.

Last month, Time also pledged that no layoffs will take place for 90 days.



“We will also continue to ensure our hourly workers are paid while our offices are closed,” tweeted editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal.

This bucks the trend amid print publishers at the moment — a number have had to cut or furlough staff, or reduce employees’ salaries to stay afloat during this tumultuous time.

American Media Inc. is cutting the salaries of its staff by 23%, for example.

Gannett and BuzzFeed also cut employees’ pay. 

Future Media Group’s fashion-focused magazine W furloughed its staff.

Group Nine announced this week it is letting go of 7% of its employees company wide.

However, publishers from Vox to Texas Monthly have also reported record audiences online in the last month.

Traffic analytics company Parse.ly said its network, which includes over 3,000 sites, experienced a 60% increase in article views on March 12, compared to the previous week, fueled by COVID-19 coverage and people spending more time online at home.
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