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Los Angeles Times furloughs workers, cuts executive pay as ad revenue plummets

Los Angeles Times furloughs workers, cuts executive pay as ad revenue plummets
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The parent company of The Los Angeles Times announced Wednesday it is furloughing 40 employees as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the media industry.

The California Times, which owns the San Diego Union-Tribune and The L.A. Times, said that in addition to the furloughs, there will be pay cuts for senior managers. The company did not provide further details about the salary reductions.

“Due to the unexpected effects of Covid-19, our advertising revenue has nearly been eliminated,” the company wrote in a memo to staff.

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In a separate memo, L.A. Times President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Argentieri said the newspaper had lost more than 33 percent of its revenue since the crisis hit in earnest last month.

“The Times has lost more than one-third of its advertising revenue and expects to lose more than half of its advertising revenue in the coming months," Argentieri wrote.

The L.A. Times was founded in 1881. It has the fifth-largest circulation in the U.S. behind USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and New York Post.

The number of U.S. deaths from the coronavirus now exceeds 25,000, according to a New York Times tracker.

The death toll in California has been kept relatively low, at 860, due to aggressive social distancing measures enacted early in the crisis, according to the L.A. Times.