More than 40 Yorkshire-based PA Media sports journalists are being placed on the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.
A total of 44 journalists – 39 based in sports editorial and five in racing – will be placed in furlough, meaning 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 a month will be paid by the government.
In the sports department, 22 journalists are being retained to provide updates on how the crisis is affecting different sports and to write features and archive content.
Other employees across PA Media Group are also affected, meaning about 25% of total staff will be furloughed or take unpaid leave. Senior management have agreed a 30% pay cut.
Sports editor Ashley Broadley said: “I have a talented group of journalists and it was an extremely tough decision to put a number of them on furlough because of the blank sporting calendar. I am immensely proud of them all and looking forward to them returning as soon as possible.”
A PA Media Group spokesperson added: “From this week, 44 PA journalists, 39 in sport editorial, and the remainder in racing, are being temporarily furloughed due to the cessation of sport and racing worldwide.
“Another 22 sports journalists will continue to work normally, providing regular updates on the impact of the crisis on sport, plus features and archival content to assist our customers in populating their sports sections during the current extraordinary circumstances.
“PA’s news operation continues to operate normally and is unaffected by these measures. In addition, a number employees from across all PA Media Group companies will be furloughed or take unpaid leave. Taken together, these measures affect roughly 25% of the group’s total staff.
“As well as the steps announced today, PA Media Group’s senior executive management have already opted to reduce their salary by 30% and the company will be considering what further measures should be taken to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19.”