This past March, iHeartMedia made some serious changes to their organization due to COVID-19. The company furloughed an unnumbered amount of staff in order to combat lost revenue. While the furloughs are temporary, employees are left waiting to get back to work. Now, it’s reported that iHeartMedia has extended the furlough another 90 days. In a staff email obtained by Billboard, Chief People Officer at iHeartMedia Lorna Hagen, explained the reasoning for the extension.
“Although we as a company are beginning to return to the office in a very limited way, due to these business circumstances, we will not return to full office staffing levels for some time”.
Since lockdowns and re-openings of businesses is a long process, iHeartMedia is needing more time to recuperate. Additionally, Hagen stated that the lockdown “has had a significant impact on advertising revenue”. Consecutive months with zero events, has been devastating for the entertainment world. The original furlough period was set to end in early July. It’s surprising as we’ve just entered June and the extension decision has already been made.
On the bright side, staff furloughed will still receive medical, dental, and vision benefits. Hagen is hoping for a quick recovery so that employees can return to work as soon as possible. Still, large corporations like iHeartMedia face unique obstacles having employees return to the physical workplace. iHeartMedia has taken many bold moves to ensure their survival during these difficult times. It’s reported in March that CEO Bob Pittman forwent his remaining salary for this year to help avoid layoffs.
You can read the full email sent to effected employees below.
Email From Chief People Officer Lorna Hagen
As we’re sure you’ve read, the lockdown of businesses and communities across the country due to the COVID-19 virus and related restrictions has lasted far longer than anticipated and has had a significant impact on advertising revenue. Although we as a company are beginning to return to the office in a very limited way, due to these business circumstances, we will not return to full office staffing levels for some time.
As a result of these longer than expected impacts, a number of companies are extending employee furloughs – and unfortunately we will be doing so as well, extending your furlough period for another 90 days. We continue to expect that the furlough, which began on April 4, 2020, will be temporary. We know this is not what you hoped to hear, nor is it what we had hoped to do.
We consider you an important part of iHeart, and we will continue to offer medical, dental, and vision benefits to you, as we have done, through this extended furlough period. Please note that there are important updates to your eligibility for iHeartMedia’s Short and Long-Term Disability Plans, and the Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Plans which are included in the attached addendum to the Temporary Leave Guide.
Be assured that should the situation change and point to a speedier economic recovery or staffing need, we will notify you and bring you back as soon as we can. If anything changes with you, or if we can offer any guidance or assistance, please contact us at HR4U@iheartmedia.com. If your employment is currently terminable at will, this notice does not affect that status.
We are truly sorry that you have to go through this. We know these are tough times and we very much appreciate your hanging in there with us.
Chief People Officer
125 W. 55th St., 11th Fl.
New York, NY 10019