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Creative Loafing Inc., which owns the Chicago Reader, announced Wednesday that it's cutting executive and management salaries by 5 to 15 percent. The biggest cuts will be suffered by president Ben Eason and chief operating officer Kirk MacDonald.
At the Reader, editor Alison True, managing editor Kiki Yablon, associate publisher Steve Timble, general manager Mary Jo Madden, ad director Brett Murphy, and marketing director Andrew Hilsberg are taking pay cuts. A total of 30 salaries are being reduced throughout the company.
MacDonald, who doubles as Reader publisher, said in Chicago the move was forced on Creative Loafing by an economy "which we don't expect to improve for an unknown period of time." The pay cuts are the latest austerity measure but certainly not the first. The Reader's paid editorial staff is half what it was when Creative Loafing bought this paper in July 2007, and the debt acquired in that sale drove the company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy last September.