Spain's El Pais to cut jobs and salaries as media flounders

MADRID Fri Oct 5, 2012 7:18am EDT

MADRID Oct 5 (Reuters) - Spain's most influential newspaper El Pais will fire workers and cut salaries next week, parent media group Prisa said on Friday, as plunging advertising revenues leave media outlets floundering.

Prisa, which owns the internationally-recognised Spanish-language daily, has not said how many workers will go, but local media said more than a quarter of the paper's staff could be forced out.

"We can't keep living so well," Prisa Chairman Juan Luis Cebrian told staff on Friday, in comments published by the workers' committee of the left-leaning paper, Spain's best-read generalist daily.

Prisa, which has media assets in Europe and Latin America, in July reported a 5 percent drop in first-half revenue, attributing the decline to falling advertising revenue in crisis-hit Spain and Portugal.

Since 2008, 57 media outlets in Spain have closed and 8,000 journalists have lost their jobs, as falling advertising revenues takes its toll on companies already struggling from a consumer shift to the Internet for news.

One of the paper's journalists, Carlos Cue, said on Twitter it was the "worst day in the history of El Pais".

Prisa has made cuts across its various outlets, including business daily Cinco Dias and radio station Cadena Ser. This latest round of cash-saving measures will be formalised on Tuesday, the El Pais committee said.

The programme includes firing workers, early retirement for some and reducing salaries. Across the Spanish media, the average journalist's salary has halved since the onset of the country's financial crisis. (Reporting by Clare Kane; Editing by David Holmes)

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