Macmillan U.S. today announced that it will curtail salary increases, effective January 1, 2009, for staff earning fifty thousand dollars or more. For those making less, there will be a “pool for modest increases.” Macmillan U.S. is a conglomerate of publishing companies, including Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Henry Holt, Picador, St. Martin’s, and Tor/Forge, owned by the German-based Macmillan Publishing Ltd.
Macmillan's chief executive John Sargent wrote in a memo to staff that retail book sales and advertising revenues are down. He also said that it is unclear how long the recession will last. “We are not immune to these forces, and our business continues to be soft. So the time has come to take action for next year," he wrote.
HarperCollins and Penguin Group (USA) announced similar measures last week. HarperCollins will delay pay raises until July of next year. At Penguin, there will be no raises in 2009 for employees earning more than fifty thousand dollars. Penguin Group chairman and CEO John Makinson told Publishers Weekly that “[t]his is the most challenging economic environment that any of us has ever experienced.”