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Northcliffe freezes staff pay until March 2010

Journalists and other staff across Northcliffe Media were today told their pay is to be frozen for 12 months until March 2010.

The regional publishing group’s 5,000-plus employees received the news in a series of emails sent out by senior managers this morning.

The only exceptions to the ruling will be in the case of staff who undergo a change in status, such as promotion or reaching the end of a training period.

Today’s pay freeze follows a similar decision by fellow regional publishing giant Newsquest, which is also reported to have asked its staff to take a week’s unpaid leave.

Kevin Beatty, chief executive of A&N Media which includes Northcliffe, said today: “The very difficult economic conditions show no signs of improving in the immediate future. As a result we, like most businesses, have been forced to seek efficiencies, resulting sadly, in job losses across many areas of Northcliffe Media.

“As part of our ongoing cost savings/containment there will be no annual pay rises for the time being. This freeze will be for a full year from Wednesday 4 March, and will affect everyone in Northcliffe Media, whenever their pay review is due.

“Only increases as a result of a change in status such as promotions, or reaching the end of contracted training periods, will continue.

“We regret this measure is necessary, but hope you will accept that our remuneration packages across all areas of our business remain highly competitive, not least due to the excellent pension benefits on offer, which includes the continuation of a final salary pension scheme.”

Northcliffe has already moved to reduce its cost-base by combining back-office functions such as finance and reducing its number of regional divisions.

Significant job losses have also been proposed at its Tamworth and East Midlands operations as a result of plans to introduce centralised subbing hubs.

There has been no official comment from Newsquest either on its proposed company-wide pay freeze or the reports that its employees have been asked to take a week’s unpaid leave as an alternative to cutting jobs.

Comments

Sally Jane (05/03/2009 13:13:04)
Let’s hope that some of the Directors and Heads downshift their cars a little and show that THEY too are making sacrifices. There is not much evidence yet!

Jayne Gater (05/03/2009 15:39:05)
Just another blow for the dedicated people who work for Northcliffe. When this recession is over the average age of employees will probably be about 16.

a 16 year old (05/03/2009 18:19:19)
Newspapers are dirty dead trees

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