USA Today staff to take unpaid leave

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The Independent Online

USA Today, America's second-biggest newspaper, has asked most of its staff to take week off without pay to save money. The measures come as the newspaper continues to struggle to sell advertising space and is the latest in a series of cost-cutting initiatives in recent years.

In a memo to staff, USA Today bosses indicated that the newspaper expects disappointing financial results in the quarter to June.

According to the Associated Press, the executives, Susie Ellwood and Evan Ray, wrote: "The bottom line is that business conditions continue to be mixed and the national advertising environment remains volatile."

Mr Ray is president of Gannett Publishing Services, which prints and distributes USA Today and more than 80 other US newspapers, most of which have also asked staff to go unpaid for a week.

USA Today reported a daily circulation of more than 1.8 million for the period to 31 March 2011, with a readership of 3.2 million.