Stuff has followed other news organisations in asking its staff to take a 15 per cent pay cut for three months because of the impact of Covid-19.

The voluntary pay cut will apply to staff earning more than $50,000, and is capped so that no one's income will fall below $50,000.

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher is also taking a pay cut of 40 per cent, and the rest of the executive staff will take a 25 per cent cut.

"We have not made this decision lightly but our focus must be on the sustainability of the business in the long term," Boucher said in a statement.


Boucher told a Parliamentary committee yesterday that advertising revenue had "fallen off a cliff", more than halving in the weeks since March and looking "particularly dire" for April.

Chief executive officer of Stuff, Sinead Boucher. Photo / Stuff
Chief executive officer of Stuff, Sinead Boucher. Photo / Stuff

The country's largest national website was facing nervous weeks and months ahead, she said.

"What's really taken our breath away is the speed with how these issues have crystallised into a fight for survival."

She said Stuff had not yet made any redundancies, but did not rule that out in the future. Ongoing government support was necessary - either through NZ on Air or through other mechanisms.

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On Tuesday NZME, which owns the Herald and Newstalk ZB, announced it was making 200 positions redundant and asking higher-paid staff to take a 15 per cent pay cut for 12 weeks.

MediaWorks earlier this month asked its staff to take a 15 per cent pay cut, while NZME's Radio Sport and all of media company Bauer's New Zealand magazine titles - including The Listener and North and South - have closed.

Bauer Media Group has announced its closing its publishing business in New Zealand due to the severe economic impact of Covid-19. Video / Bauer Media NZ

Bauer's closure also meant the loss of more than 200 jobs - though Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has noted that Bauer had refused to take the Government's wage subsidy.


The Government is working on a support package for media, expected to be announced shortly.

Ardern has already ruled out a request to stop government advertising on social media, saying that the advertising needed to go wherever New Zealanders were.