News Corp looks to shorter work weeks and ‘significant pay cuts’ to reduce cost base

One of Australia’s largest media outlets, News Corp, has said it is doing everything it can to preserve jobs within the organisation as consumer confidence and ad spend dries up due to uncertainty around the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.

In order to protect jobs and reduce its cost base, News Corp said the executive team “will need to take a significant pay cut”, while other staff members will be presented with options including part-time work, nine-day fortnights, and taking additional leave. The organisation did concede that some job losses will be inevitable.

The company will also be directing staff to take leave over the Easter period.

Michael Miller, the company’s executive chairman, told staff in a note seen by Mumbrella that despite consumers increasingly turning to news organisations throughout this crisis “falling business confidence is impacting the advertising revenues of all media businesses”.

He also noted that many staff had reached out to him to see what impact business closures, travel and trade restrictions, and rapidly changing consumer habits would have on jobs at News Corp.

His goal, he said, it to minimise the impact of reduced revenue and retain as many jobs as possible.

News Corp boss Miller says he wants to protect jobs

“I want to assure you that my priority is to preserve as many jobs across the company as possible. But it is now clear that some job losses will be inevitable,” he said. “Together we need to move quickly to do everything we can to secure the health of our business and retain jobs.”

Further cost-saving measures include halting projects, all travel and entertainment ceasing, and events being called off. News Corp has also reduced the page count across its mastheads and reallocated copy sales and distribution.

It’s anticipated that the new working arrangements, to be discussed with staff in coming days, will continue until the end of May.

Miller wrapped up his note by thanking staff for their efforts, commitment and the vital role they play in keeping Australia informed.

Today has also seen Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) announce it is implementing pay cuts end enforcing leave.


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