Irish Times deny exaggerating losses

CLAIMS by a former Irish Times journalist that the company exaggerated losses in order to achieve staff cut-backs has been strongly rejected by management.

Maeve Donovan, Irish Times managing director, said former security correspondent Jim Cusack had ‘seriously misrepresented the situation’ during an interview on RTE radio with Marion Finucane yesterday.

During the interview, Mr Cusack, who left after taking a redundancy package last Friday, said: “I don’t think it is true that they (the Irish Times) have encountered great losses. If you just look at its advertising revenue and its circulation, you’ll see it is as financially secure as ever it was and I think it will go on to huge profitability very shortly.”

Mr Cusack described his last nine months at the newspaper as ‘a brutal period.’

“One third of the people there lost their jobs...they (management) shouldn’t have let the problems develop the way they did and then they got away with it, just getting rid of everyone in one go. I’m sure they’re delighted with themselves and they’re probably very, very profitable now,” he said.

Ms Donovan responded by pointing out that all redundancies at the company were voluntary and that the job-shedding programme had been agreed with unions.

She also rejected claims by Mr Cusack that editorial staff had been the fall guys in the redundancy programme; the programme.

Mr Cusack had claimed that it was the reporters and subs who had borne the brunt of the job losses, rather than “the huge management structure on the editorial side.”

He said those at the top of the management scale were on ‘scary money’ and that the paper had been compromised for commercial purposes.

Ms Donovan said Mr Cusack’s remarks had done a disservice to those who had chosen to remain with the newspaper and that they could not go unchallenged.

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