My, oh my, how the tables have turned. Buzzfeed News, which earlier this year started publishing a Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) “hoax” list is suddenly having to downsize its employees’ wages in response to the ongoing crisis.
Reports indicate that some Buzzfeed News staffers, including some executives, are slated to endure as much as a 25 percent pay cut. And company CEO Jonah Peretti has confirmed that he will no longer even be taking a salary as long as the crisis continues.
Most Buzzfeed News employees will be receiving pay cuts for at least the months of April and May, and possibly longer. Those in the lowest bracket receiving under $65,000 annually will receive a five percent reduction, while those making between $65,000 and $90,000 will receive a seven percent cut.
Other staff in higher brackets face 10 percent cuts, while the highest executives within the firm will be tacked with 14 to 25 percent pay reductions. Those making between $90,000 and $124,900 will face nine percent cuts, while those in the $125,000 to $169,900 range face 11 percent cuts.
As difficult as they will surely be, the cuts are being implemented in order to avoid having to lay anybody off, Peretti says. Buzzfeed News will also be trimming new hiring while placing increased restrictions on travel, as well as cutting real estate costs wherever possible.
“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 is quoted as saying.
It’s worth pointing out that Peretti’s humble approach to this trying situation is a far cry from how former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg handled his company’s crisis, taking a $100 million golden parachute while Boeing employees were let go without a second thought.
Buzzfeed News employees seem satisfied with Peretti’s approach as well, with one having told the media that “a lot of people are happy with this decision because there are no layoffs.”
“People are willing to make the sacrifice to keep their colleagues employed,” this same staffer added.
Sadly, other media outlets and newspapers aren’t faring so well. G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller recently sent out a memo to his company’s employees warning them to “brace for impact.” He added that, due to declining advertising dollars, the company’s financial outlook over the next several months does not “look pretty.”
So, while Buzzfeed News certainly has dealt its fair share of fake news over the years, including pushing the idea that being fat as a female is perfectly normal and healthy, the company is taking care of its employees which is commendable.
“We’ve been monitoring the human and economic impact of the coronavirus and it’s clear we will see a major economic downturn in the next few months,” Peretti added in a memo to his employees.
“In our own business we want to save as many jobs as possible, even at the expense of wages declining. We don’t know how long this will last but we want to move quickly to make sure our business remains sustainable and we will lift the program and reevaluate if things improve,” he added, emphasizing that the lowest paid employees will suffer the least impact with these changes.
“[L]eaders in the company making larger salaries took on more of the burden.”
For more related news about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), be sure to check out Pandemic.news.
Sources for this article include: