Journal Media, which runs online news sites including, is to implement pay cuts across the company of between 5% and 20% as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

The business site is to close and the sports website will be scaled back.

In a statement, Journal Media said that it, like all news and media organisations, has seen a dramatic and unprecedented drop in advertising revenue as a result of the crisis. 

The statement continued: "This sudden decline and the uncertainty of when commercial activity will return to normal levels is a real threat to the existence of the news service which provides free to the public. 

"We had to put measures in place to protect this important service and the future of our company. These include pay cuts across the company and most unfortunately ceasing to publish our business news site 

"At this time when local news and quality information is of particular importance to our society, it is essential that we take action to protect and sustain indigenous news publishers."

Meanwhile the director of Local Ireland, which represents 46 local newspaper titles, is calling on the Government to "step in and advertise in local newspapers".

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Seán O'Rourke, Johnny O'Hanlon said advertising revenues for local titles have declined by 50-70% since the Covid-19 crisis began. 

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He added that circulations are "under pressure" also, because despite editions moving online, many still rely on advertising and print revenue as a main source of income.

Mr O'Hanlon commended Minister for Communications Richard Bruton for €2.5 million in support of local radio but he said "something similar needs to be done for local newspapers".

He also called for the appointment of a minister for media because he said "local newspapers are out on a wing and are underrepresented"

Last week the Iconic Newspapers Group, one of Ireland's biggest local newspaper groups, laid off dozens of workers due to the collapse of advertising income during the coronavirus crisis.

Journalists, photographers, advertising staff and other workers were being let go for six weeks from the end of March and some workers were being made redundant. 

Among the titles affected were the Donegal Democrat, Kilkenny People, Leinster Leader, Leinster Express, Limerick Leader, Longford Leader, The Nationalist, Tipperary Star, Tullamore Tribune and the Midland Tribune.