The crisis has affected some players in the media market. That way, expenses of “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” had to be reduced for 30% and about 50 staff members were laid off, as reported by the periodical owner and editor Konstantin Remchukov. Two weeks ago the newspaper had to reduce the number of pages returning to its previous format. However, two sections of the periodical refused laying off their employers and agreed to a 30% cut of pay.
Alexey Volin, the general director of AMedia, relates the layoff in the company not only to the current financial crisis but also to the general situation in the market. Due to reduction of the advertising budgets the AMedia (which is mostly known for TV production) was divided into five structures, engaged in various lines, including casting, technical service etc. With 190 people working in the company a year ago, now only 35 employees are collaborating on the permanent basis, while some do this on a freelance basis.
Vasily Gatov, the vice-president of the Guild of Periodical Publishers considers that at least three models of the market behavior are possible under conditions of crisis. If we talk of the regional press media, major part of which depends on the local authorities, they would survive in a large-scale crisis, though their dependence may increase. The medium-sized publishing houses and newspapers do not have big debts. This is why they more depend on their owners, who in their turn might be affected with their own obligations in other spheres of business or just begin to panic and close down their media outlets as non-core assets. As for the big players, they may undergo changes of the owners, as they are “over-credited”. Three public companies in the Russian market – STS-Media, Rambler and RBK - also may suffer losses.
According to Yuri Rovensky, the general director of RBK, the company has had to go for restructuring. The staff of 3,000 was reduced for 100 people and some projects were canceled. However, Mr. Rovensky does not believe that some media will be closed down or will have big troubles; however, there might be some mergers to come. He also mentioned high probability of redistribution of the advertising budgets in the media.
Evgeny Abov, another vice-president of the Guild of the Periodical Publishers, says that the crisis of the 1998 in the final end led to bettering of the newspaper segment: excessive salaries were cut and the prices were optimized for printing and other expenses by periodicals.
In the meantime, despite the crisis, some periodicals manage to increase their staff. That way, Alexander Gorbenko, the General Director of the state-belonging “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”, said that new 20 positions have appeared recently in the regional offices of the periodical.