Gannett, the U.S.’s largest newspaper chain has taken cost-cutting measures in the fourth quarter. These include a hiring freeze, suspension of 401k matching funds, and mandatory five-day unpaid leave for all employees this December.
For those who wish to retire or leave the publisher, there was also an option for voluntary severance and a four-day work week. The hiring freeze will be in effect “all positions not considered critical or key revenue and operating roles.”
“We’ve been transparent about the need to take immediate action given the uncertain and challenging economic environment,”Gannett spokesperson said that. “While difficult, we are confident these decisions will ensure Gannett’s future.”
Gannett had laid off approximately 400 employees two months prior to making the cost-cutting changes. This is 3% of its U.S workforce. According to USA Today, a brand owned by Gannett, who also reported that the media conglomerate employed close to 14,000 U.S. employees at the end of 2021, with an additional 2,500 staffers based outside of the country.
Besides USA Today, Gannett owns hundreds of local media brands in 46 states in the U.S. The parent company also owns Newsquest, which runs 120 local media outlets in the United Kingdom.
USA Today reports that the company suffered a net loss in the second quarter of $53.7 million. This is a significant drop compared to the $15.1 million net income for the same period in 2021.
This news comes just days after Bustle Digital Group (publisher of Gawker, Nylon and Mic) announced they would lay off 19 employees in mainly editorial roles. In September, Input, the tech outlet, will also close.