NZME to cut 200 jobs as advertising revenue plummets

NZME is losing about 15 percent of its workforce and asking staff to take pay cuts, as its advertising income looks to have been halved.

The media company, which owns the New Zealand Herald, regional papers, and radio stations including Newstalk ZB, said it was axing up to 200 jobs.

"[We have] implemented a wide scale workforce restructuring project, resulting in the reduction of over 200 positions, including redundancies and removal of vacant positions across the business," the company said in a stock exchange announcement.

It said it had also asked staff to take annual leave, while the chief executive and directors had taken a 20 percent cut in salary and fees. All remaining staff were being asked to take pay cuts for a three-month period.

The company had applied for the government wage subsidy, and official numbers show NZME and two subsidiaries had already been paid more than $800,000.

NZME said it had also stopped publishing specialist real estate, travel, and motoring supplements, as well as community newspapers.

Last month, NZME shutdown its RadioSport network because of the lack of sporting events around the world.

The company had already put on hold all non-essential spending and capital expenditure.

It said it was expecting advertising revenue for this month to about half of what it was last year, and full year earnings were likely to be "significantly down" on the corresponding period in 2019.

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

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