The management of leading Spanish newspaper El País announced to staff on Friday a plan to lay off about 150 employees – or one third of staff – as part of a series of cutbacks to “guarantee the viability of the business in years to come.”
Other measures will include early retirement plans and salary cuts, announced Juan Luis Cebrián, President of the PRISA group and of El País, accompanied by directors of both the publishing group and the newspaper.
The managers called the cutbacks “painful” yet “inevitable,” citing a steep drop in revenue stemming from the contraction of the advertising market and reduced circulation. In the Spanish market, print advertising revenue has dropped by 53 percent and newspaper circulation by 18 percent over the last five years, directors told staff members.
“For every dollar that is made on the Internet, ten are destroyed in print,” said Cebrián. “It’s not a question of wanting to improve profitability. The newspaper can no longer support its current cost structure.”
Javier Moreno, the Director of the 36-year-old newspaper, called the situation “painful,” but expressed confidence that staff members would be capable of continuing to "give their best."
“We are not going to produce the same newspaper with fewer resources,” he said, calling for a “transformation.”
PRISA, the leading media group in Spain, announced in July a net loss of 53.09 million Euros in the second quarter of 2012. In 2011, the publisher lost a total of 451 million Euros.
Details of the cutbacks are to be announced on Tuesday.
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