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People Publisher Meredith Cuts Pay of 60% of Employees

The highest-paid employees will get a salary cut of between 20 and 40 percent

Meredith Corporation, the publisher of People magazine, announced Monday it was implementing short term pay reductions for 60% of its employees.

About 45% of the employees will receive a 15 percent pay cut while another 750 staffers, the highest-paid employees, will get pay cuts between 20 and 40 percent. The employees who are having their pay cut will “receive one paid day off per week at the new reduced pay rate.”

The cuts are from May 4 through Sept. 4.

Meredith also will be implementing a wage, salary and hiring freeze, as well as a “significant reduction” in temporary and freelance usage.

In a Monday statement, Meredith President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Harty praised staff, most of whom are working from home, but added, “At the same time, the COVID-19 crisis has created an extremely challenging business environment, including significant advertising campaign cancellations and delays. While our financial position is strong, given the impact on advertising – which represents approximately half of our revenue mix – we are proactively taking aggressive actions to strengthen our liquidity and enhance our financial flexibility in the near-term to effectively navigate the current environment.”

In addition to the pay cuts and one-day furloughs, there are other cost-cutting measures underway: The Meredith Board of Directors has unanimously voted to pause the company’s common stock dividend. There are reductions in Board of Directors fees, as well.

Meredith owns People and Better Homes & Gardens, among others.

“With most of our employees working remotely, the Meredith team has risen to the challenge and continues to successfully serve our clients and consumers and demonstrate the enduring value of Meredith,” said Harty. “Traffic to our digital properties is robust, viewership for our local news broadcasts is high, and print subscriptions remain steady. Given recent lifestyle changes, our content is particularly relevant now as more Americans are spending time at home and are demonstrating expanded interest in  DIY, food and entertainment, as well as local news programming.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated to remove any reference to the employees being furloughed.