US media rocked by layoffs amid economic gloom

US media institutions, from CNN to the Washington Post, have all announced layoffs this winter due to concerns about an impending economic collapse.

Vox Media, the company behind the popular websites Vox and The Verge as well as the venerable New York Magazine and its digital platforms, disclosed on Friday that it was laying off 7% of its workforce.

  Learn about the COVID-19 pandemic from News Hour  

The news comes after cutbacks at media companies like CNN, NBC, MSNBC, and Buzzfeed.

In a memo to staff on Friday, Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff 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, which was confirmed to AFP by Vox Media, said the affected employees were going to be notified of being let go within the next 15 minutes. That would mean some 130 out of the group’s 1,900 staff.

Meghan McCarron, an award-winning journalist who spent more than nine years at Eater, a food website owned by Vox Media, tweeted Friday she was among those laid off — while 37 weeks pregnant.

“My partner and I are so excited to become parents,” McCarron posted. “I can’t really process the amount of uncertainty we’re now facing,” she added.

A Vox spokesperson told AFP they could not comment on specific cases, but that employees were offered “competitive severance packages,” including extra severance pay for those with “a near-term upcoming parental leave planned.”

Recently fired journalists from other organizations have also used Twitter to vent their resentment, shock, or gratitude toward their colleagues while starting the search for a new position.

“I’ll be figuring out my next move. I’m a data reporter but I also write and produce,” tweeted Emily Siegel, who was let go after five years as an investigative reporter at NBC. “I’d love to keep doing this work. My (direct messages) are open.”

Follow News Hour

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
No Comments