Citizen Newspaper sees income fall 60% over 21-day lockdown


Caxton, the publisher of Citizen Newspaper, has seen income of its daily paper fall by more than 60% as a result of the 21-day lockdown to counter the rapid spread of coronavirus.

The fall in earnings will lead to a reduction in staff numbers over the two-week extension of the lockdown and a possible introduction of a temporary cut in salaries.

The company has had to reduce the number of newspapers to a limited number of retailers during the period. "Advertisers cannot run their businesses as usual and 65% of all advertisements have been cancelled," it said in a letter addressed to staff seen by Fin24 on Thursday. 

As a result of a reduced paper, the newspaper will be operating rotational or half day system to "ensure we are still publishing a newspaper" over the next two weeks, Caxton said.

After the lockdown, the company said employee costs will have to be reduced "hopefully" for only the months of May, June, July.

Annual salary and wage adjustments, the company said, would be temporarily suspended. Over the longer term, staff numbers may need to be revisited.

If cost saving measures do not achieve the desired results, the company said it will have to cut salaries to preserve jobs. Reductions would apply as follows:

·       Employees earning R 45 000 or more – 33% reduction, but not to below R34 000.

·       Employees earning R 30 000 to R 44 999 – 25% reduction, but not to below R24 000

·       Employees earning R 20 000 to R 29 999 – 20% reduction, but to not below R 19 000

·       Employees earning R 9 000 to R 19 999 – 10% reduction, but not to below R 9 000

·       Below R 9 000, no reduction is applied.

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