The Melville-based media company has a total workforce of 650.

 The Melville-based media company has a total workforce of 650. Credit: Chris Ware

Newsday Media Group is laying off employees as the coronavirus has accelerated a drop in advertising. The company on Thursday declined to specify the number of workers affected.

Publisher Debby Krenek said the layoffs will only impact non-newsroom departments, such as advertising, information technology, marketing, operations planning and security. The Melville-based media company has a total workforce of 650.

"It is clear after the pandemic that the declines in advertising revenue we’ve seen in the past year will remain a challenge," Krenek said in an email to employees. "We find that we must make the difficult decision to eliminate roles in certain areas to strengthen the financial stability of the company and to allow us to continue to invest in the growth areas of the business."

Krenek said the layoffs are effective Jan. 29, though some employees will continue working through March.

The severance package for full-time employees includes two weeks’ pay for every year of service up to a maximum of 52 weeks of pay and a minimum of three months’ pay for employees with less than one year of service, health insurance for three months, and outplacement services to secure new employment, company spokeswoman Kim Como said.

Newsday, which turns 81 this September, is among a growing number of publishers and broadcasters to announce job cuts. Nationwide, more than 30,700 jobs were eliminated last year in the media industry, which includes news, advertising and television and film production, according to data from the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. in Chicago.

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