EO Media Group, the parent company of the Capital Press, and 12 other newspapers across Oregon, announced Wednesday that it is reducing its workforce by 47 employees. Six jobs are affected at the Capital Press and the others are spread across the rest of the newspaper chain. Overall, the company is reducing its workforce by 18%.
"It’s been an extraordinary few weeks as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken over our daily lives and business operations," said EO Media Group Chief Operating Officer Heidi Wright on Wednesday. The revenue losses due to the closing of commercial businesses to prevent the spread of the virus, has created a ripple effect across the nation, forcing layoffs in many industries.
"As you can imagine, the revenue pullback across the company has been dramatic, with many businesses closing their doors and events being canceled throughout the region. Many of the big box stores have cancelled their advertising, until further notice. We are taking action now in order to stabilize our operations and keep our staff intact as much as possible, during this time of crisis."
"We believe that this is the best course, but do not take this action lightly. While this is painful, it could be short-lived if, by some miracle, the economy bounces back after the corornavirus runs its course and we see local retailers reopen and begin advertising again," Wright said. "But there are no promises. This economic downturn could be with us for a long time."
EO MEDIA CEO Steve Forrester said, "Our company is in a survival mode. While none of us have seen a pandemic and its economic effects, our company has weathered economic challenges such as the Great Depression, the Astoria Fire of 1923 and, within our lifetimes, the Great Recession of 2008."
"Throughout these existential moments, our mission has not changed. And it will not change during this calamity," Forrester said. "Our newspapers and our digital sites are beacons within our communities and regions. We are leaders in gathering information and analysis, and we offer businesses audiences for their messaging."