Two months into 2018 and print and even digital media are already cutting jobs by the hundreds.
Hearst has decided to lay off about 130 employees as part of its January takeover of Rodale; Newsday is cutting more than 50 staffers in New York; Berkshire Hathaway’s media arm is cutting 148 staffers and eliminating more than 100 unfilled jobs, and even “new media” powerhouse Vox is doing away with 50 employees.
At Hearst, the Rodale cuts, which grew from an initial 55 positions being cut to 127, according to Department of Labor notices, are mainly back-office positions. But some are editorial and linked to titles like Men’s Health and Women’s Health being integrated into Hearst’s magazine groups. Those titles are expected to continue with print editions at the current frequency and format. A Hearst spokeswoman declined to comment.
At Newsday, which is majority owned by Charles Dolan, the billionaire cable television magnate, 51 positions in its New York newspaper business are being done away with, according to a notice. A company representative could not be reached for comment.
Berkshire Hathaway’s BH Media Corp. looks to be making the biggest cuts. According to reports from its network of 31 local news outlets, the cuts include the Omaha World-Herald, the home paper of Berkshire Hathaway founder Warren Buffett, where more than 40 positions are being eliminated. All told, BH Media’s cuts total 6 percent of its workforce.
Terry Kroeger, chief executive officer of BH Media and World-Herald’s publisher, said advertisers have cut back on placements because of the increasing popularity of online shopping, and the related disruption to regional and national businesses.
Even new media isn’t immune from broader shifts. Over at Vox, which operates a namesake political web site, along with others focused on sports, food, fashion and the tech industry, 50 jobs are being cut.
Ceo Jim Bankoff said the layoffs are related to the “wind-down of certain initiatives,” like native social video, adding that “industry changes” have shown them to not be viable revenue streams. But Racked, Vox’s fashion offering, is being reduced by such a degree that rumors of it shutting down entirely circulated Wednesday on social media.
Vox rejected that possibility outright, saying while Racked’s social video and shopping platforms are going, its “incredible journalism and talented team of reporters” is staying.
Jobs in publishing, not including Internet-only publications, have declined steadily over the past months and even years, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 3,000 jobs were lost between November and January.
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