Arkansas Democrat-Gazette asking full-time employees to volunteer for furloughs to cut payroll costs “in an effort to possibly avoid mandatory reductions.” pic.twitter.com/gV8shqS6mD
— Joe Flaherty (@flahertyjoseph) April 13, 2020
A Tweet from Joe Flaherty, who joined the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette as a reporter a little over two months ago, passes along a message to staff seeking voluntary furloughs or other reductions to help the newspaper cope with coronavirus’ impact on the publishing business. The memo:
I’ve written enough not to belabor that the news business was already on its knees thanks to Internet dislocation of advertising and circulation. The D-G is nearing all-digital distribution of the newspaper six days a week, preserving only a Sunday print edition with its advertising circulars and some still-surviving print advertising.
The tiny Arkansas Times is in the same boat, of course, but without the resources of the D-G’s owner. We shifted from weekly to monthly publishing this year. We’re now seeking the help available for small business loans in the federal stimulus package and soliciting support from readers. We cut pay across the board, with some higher paid employees taking bigger cuts, but we’ve resisted furloughs so far. Local news providers — the more the better and the more vigorous the better — have never been more important.