BuzzFeed is cutting pay for its employees as the company attempts to weather the coronavirus pandemic.
In an internal memo on Wednesday, the company announced a graduated salary reduction for the majority of employees for the months of April and May, adding that company brass would meet with the news union to ratify the cuts.
Staffers in the lowest bracket—which includes anyone making under $65,000 annually—would experience a five-percent reduction, while those making between $65,000-$90,000 would experience a seven-percent cut. Other staff would take nearly a 10-percent pay cut, while executives would take between 14-to-25-percent in pay reduction.
CEO Jonah Peretti confirmed in a note to staff that “I will not be taking a salary until we are on the other side of this crisis.”
Peretti added in the memo that the company was attempting to stave off layoffs by implementing the salary cut, limiting hiring and travel, and reducing real estate costs.
“I understand this will be a real hardship for everyone, but our goal is to make it possible for all of us to get through this,” Peretti said.
While in the past BuzzFeed News staffers have occasionally chafed at Peretti’s approach to cuts, multiple BuzzFeed News staffers expressed slight relief that the company did not announce layoffs, and that Peretti himself would be making sacrifices.
“A lot of people are happy with this decision because there are no layoffs,” one BuzzFeed News staffer. “People are willing to make the sacrifice to keep their colleagues employed.”
BuzzFeed’s cuts come as smaller news organizations, including many alt-weekly newspapers, have already been forced to slash staff in the wake of concerns about plummeting advertising revenue. In a memo to staff last weekend, titled “Brace for Impact,” G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller warned that due to declining ad money, the company’s financial outlook over the next several months would not “look pretty.”