Arizona Newspapers Face Furloughs, Layoffs
COVID-19 is creating news around-the-clock in recent weeks. Even so, the economic impact of the pandemic is taking a toll on Valley newspapers. The Arizona Republic and the Phoenix New Times both face cuts.
Gannett, the parent company of the Arizona Republic, is planning massive furloughs in an effort to cut costs amid the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. In a letter to employees, CEO Paul Bascobert said digital traffic and subscriptions have increased in recent weeks, but advertising revenue is slowing. The publishing company is asking many employees to take one unpaid week per month for at least the next three months.
Arizona Republic reporters unionized last fall. Rebekah Sanders, a reporter and leader of the unit, says she hopes to negotiate with the paper’s leadership to avoid cuts to the newsroom.
“Our work is needed now more than ever. We need more journalists, not fewer,” Sanders said.
Gannett leadership did not respond to requests for comment.
The Show to Republic reporter Richard Ruelas and asked what information he and his colleagues had received.
Earlier this month, Voice Media Group, parent company of weekly newspaper the Phoenix New Times, also announced salary cuts and layoffs for journalists.