Vox Media is instituting deep pay cuts and furloughs affecting dozens of the company’s staff.
The digital-media company, which merged with New York magazine last year, announced in an email to staff that it will implement drastic measures to reduce costs as advertising revenue continues to dry up amid the coronavirus-fueled economic downturn.
“While I am confident that we are making the right decisions for our company and employees given this unprecedented crisis, my confidence in no way softens the blow to the individuals most impacted, nor to the morale and feelings of all of us, who are upset because we care about our colleagues,” CEO Jim Bankoff said in a note to staff on Friday.
Dozens of staffers across Vox and New York magazine properties—which include the titular outlets as well as popular websites like The Verge, Vulture, and The Cut, among others—will be furloughed without pay for the next three months, while remaining staff and top earners will take significant pay cuts.
According to Friday’s memo, 9 percent of Vox Media employees will be furloughed for three months, while hours will be reduced for an additional 1 percent of employees. Employees making over $130,000 a year would also be subject to tiered salary reductions, while Bankoff and New York Media CEO Pam Wasserstein will be taking a 50 percent pay cut.
The company did not release the number of employees affected, but a CNBC article earlier this week counted the number at nearly 100 staffers. While the furloughs and reductions affect all parts of the Vox business, Friday’s memo said the cuts at Vox would hit some of the company’s local-news sites particularly hard, including the sports outlet SB Nation and real-estate site Curbed, as well as the company’s sales and operations staff.
The move comes as numerous media companies continue to take major measures to cut costs following the economic collapse caused by the spread of coronavirus. Advertising and marketing spending reductions have impacted nearly every media company, including magazine publisher Condé Nast, digital-media outlets BuzzFeed and Vice, and entertainment behemoths The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, among many others.
In Friday’s memo, Bankoff said he expects the decline in revenue to be in the “tens of millions,” saying the company lost millions due to the cancellation of SXSW and the NCAA’s March Madness tournament, as well as the collapse of “travel, sports and fashion-related advertising, and other factors.”