Lake Mills Leader and other Adams Publishing Group newspapers are reducing the hours of employees to compensate for lost advertising revenue resulting from business closures and event cancellations caused by the coronavirus crisis, a company official said.
Employees were told of the reductions March 24 and 25.
Full-time hourly workers will have their hours reduced to 30 hours per week, and salaried workers will have their pay reduced by 25%, according to a memo sent to employees.
“As we are all well aware, the economy is experiencing significant and rapidly evolving challenges for all businesses due to coronavirus, and APG is experiencing the same contraction. Now more than ever, it has become even more critical that we be financially and immediately responsive to those market conditions,” wrote Mark Adams, CEO of Adams Publishing Group, in a memo to employees.
The staffing adjustments are company-wide, according to the memo addressed to all Adams Publishing Group associates.
“Like every other business in our communities, we are having to make immediate adjustments to the rapidly changing economic situation, while ensuring our associates are safe and healthy,” said Robb Grindstaff, regional general manager of Adams Publishing for southern Wisconsin. “But we are fully committed to our mission to provide essential news and information to our communities, more important now than ever. These are hard decisions and tough on our dedicated staff, but we felt this was the best alternative rather than permanent layoffs or long-term furloughs to enable us to adjust financially and weather this storm.”
Adams Publishing Group purchased the Lake Mills Leader in December 2018, along with Hometown News Group consisting of nine weekly newspapers, from the W.D. Hoard & Sons Co., and the Watertown Daily Times from the Cllifford family. In June 2019, APG acquired the Janesville Gazette, Beloit Daily News and Bliss Communications, including the newspaper printing facility.
“This was an extremely tough decision, and we understand the impact this will have on you and your families,” Adams wrote in the memo.