Due to revenue drop, Anchorage Daily News cuts pay, lays off 7

Anchorage Daily News employees are getting paychecks that are 20% smaller. The company cites losses due to the coronavirus. (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

Employees of the Anchorage Daily News are receiving smaller paychecks after a sudden coronavirus-related drop in revenue.

Beginning March 30, the company cut pay for salaried employees by 20% and cut full-time hourly workers to a 32-hour week.

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In an email to staff, President and CEO Ryan Binkley cited drastic losses that COVID-19 has inflicted on the company’s revenues from advertising and events. 

“This is not fair and not your fault,” Binkley wrote. “Nobody expected an event like this.”

He said the reductions are temporary and that in mid-April company leaders will reassess the need to continue them.

Binkley also announced that seven Daily News employees had been laid off. The email did not say what departments the layoffs came from.

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In a letter to readers on March 28, Daily News Editor David Hulen noted many Alaska businesses are in worse shape right now.

“But here’s the thing,” Hulen wrote. “This is happening at a time when our coverage has rarely, if ever, reached as wide an audience or delivered as much impact.”

Hulen said in recent days the paper had seen “among the biggest spikes in digital subscriptions at ADN ever,” and asked readers who hadn’t yet subscribed to “consider joining your neighbors in supporting local journalism.”

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Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Alaska Public Media. She reports from the U.S. Capitol and from Anchorage. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org.