City AM staff put on furlough and digital edition suspended during Covid-19 pandemic

A majority of City AM staff will be put on furlough (paid leave) and the digital edition suspended in the latest measures to protect the newsbrand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff who continue to work will be paid 80 per cent of their salary, the same as the Government scheme for furloughed workers which caps at £30,000.

City AM stopped printing its daily edition last week and said it would cut staff salaries in half in April as it battled a downturn in advertising following the mass cancellation of events due to the virus.

Staff will now be temporarily furloughed instead of having their salaries halved next month.

The digital edition of the daily paper had continued, but will stop on Wednesday. City AM will continue to publish daily on its rolling-news website, cityam.com, which has seen record traffic.

Not having the digital edition frees up journalists, for whom putting it together is the same amount of work whether it goes to print or not.

Editor Christian May said: “Faced with a radical (albeit temporary) change to our publishing model we’ve decided to furlough a number of staff while at the same time more than doubling the number of reporters who will work on CityAM.com throughout the day.

“We look forward to returning to full strength – and to print – as soon as possible.”

City AM distributed 85,000 print copies each day at stations and key locations in and around London before suspending print.

As with other free papers, it has has been hit particularly hard by official advice that people should stay at home and avoid travel.

The London Evening Standard has reduced its daily print run to 500,000 and is delivering to homes for the first time in an effort to sustain its journalism.

Read all Press Gazette’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and the news industry here

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