US media are facing tough times, as a series of outlets like CNN and Washington Post have announced layoffs this winter amid fears of an economic downturn. The most recent layoffs were announced on Friday by Vox Media, owner of the Vox and The Verge websites and the landmark New York Magazine and its online platforms, who are planning to let go seven per cent of its staff.
The announcement follows layoffs announcements by CNN, MSNBC, NBC, Buzzfeed, and other outlets.
Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff in a memo announced "the difficult decision to eliminate roughly seven percent of our staff roles across departments due to the challenging economic environment impacting our business and industry."
The memo as reported by AFP, was confirmed by the media giant who said that the affected employees would be notified and it would mean some 130 out of the group's 1,900 staff would be let go.
Meghan McCarron, an award-winning journalist who spent more than nine years at Eater, a food website owned by Vox Media, on Friday Tweeted that she was affected by the layoffs.
"My partner and I are so excited to become parents," she posted. "I can't really process the amount of uncertainty we're now facing," she added.
A Vox spokesperson told AFP that employees were offered "competitive severance packages," including extra severance pay for those with "a near-term upcoming parental leave planned."
Newsroom employment in the United States has been declining; it fell from 1,14,000 in 2008 to 85,000 journalistsin 2020, according to a 2021 study by the Pew Research Center, with local media hit especially hard.
Washington Post layoffs
The Washington Post may also be expected to announce layoffs. CEO Fred Ryan warned last month that "a number of positions" will be cut in the following weeks. He also added that the layoffs would affect about 2,500 people while the hires for other positions will continue.
The Washington Post Magazine, which won two Pulitzer prizes, was shut down last month with the company focusing on global and digital transformation.
Vice Media layoffs
And Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc on Friday announced to her staff that the company is up for sale.
CNN has also laid off an estimated several hundred workers as a means of restructuring post the merger between Warner Media, which includes CNN and HBO Max, and Discovery. Post the merger, CNN+ its $100 million streaming service was also shut down.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)