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Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff. Photo: Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Vox Media is furloughing 9% of its staff from May 1 through July 31, with health insurance premiums being fully covered, a source familiar with the moves tells Axios.

Why it matters: It's one of the many media companies forced to take drastic measures to survive the economic fallout of the coronavirus.

  • Last week, Vox Media solicited donations from readers, foreshadowing its struggles.
  • The digital publishing company owns brands like Eater, SB Nation, New York Magazine and The Strategist.

Additional measures are being taken in addition to layoffs, according to a source at Vox Media:

  • About 1% of staff are moving to reduced hours from May 1 through July 31, with health insurance premiums still fully covered.
  • There will be a temporary tiered pay reduction for employees starting at an annual salary of $130,000 for the same time period.
  • 401(k) matches will be suspended through the end of 2020.
  • There will be a freeze on merit-based increases and promotions.

In a memo to staff Friday obtained by Axios, Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff wrote: "The expectations that we had just a few weeks ago for our business and our lives no longer apply."

  • "When I say it’s our goal to limit the impact on our employees, I mean it."

The big picture: The pandemic is forcing dozens of major media companies to carry out layoffs and pay cuts.

  • Group Nine Media, which includes brands like Thrillist, Seeker, The Dodo, PopSugar and NowThis, laid off 7% of its workforce last week.
  • Bustle Digital Group laid off two dozen staffers in early April and shuttered its tech website The Outline.
  • Cheddar, BuzzFeed and dozens of other digital-native websites have also resorted to layoffs, furloughs and other measures to survive the pandemic.

Be smart: The digital news industry has been reeling from a tough economic outlook for a while — and Vox Media laid off roughly 50 staffers in 2018.

  • It also laid off hundreds of freelancers last year, after a new law passed in California that reclassified freelance journalists as contract workers.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi expects “billionaire’s tax” to pay for Biden social spending

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday she expects the chamber to pass the bipartisan infrastructure plan by week’s end, and alternatives to corporate tax hikes and a “billionaires tax” will be used to finance President Biden’s promised expansion to the social safety net.

Why it matters: Pelosi’s comments come as House and Senate leaders try to wrap up a deal. What will get cut — and how the remainder will be paid — are linchpins to a final agreement.