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No Longer Serving Readers

It seems that the US media follow the path of the tech giants, as various media houses see huge layoffs. From CNN to The Washington Post and Vox, many journalists and media professionals have already lost their jobs. Vox Media recently announced that it would lay off 7% of its workforce in the coming days. CNN, NBC, MSNBC and BuzzFeed, too, have made a similar decision.

On January 20, 2023, Jim Bankoff, the Chairman and CEO of Vox Media, Inc., said that the turbulent economic situation prompted the management to reduce the number of employees. Hence, 130 of Vox Media’s 1,900 employees would be terminated. On January 21, Meghan McCarron, a senior correspondent of Vox Media, wrote on Twitter: “I have spent the last nine and half years at Eater doing work I am immensely proud of. Today is my last day, since I have been affected by the layoffs at Vox. I am also 37 weeks pregnant. My partner and I are so excited to become parents. I had looked forward to sharing this news in a much happier context, and I cannot really process the amount of uncertainty we are now facing.

There have been massive layoffs in the US Technology sector in recent times. Hundreds of thousands of employees have already lost their jobs in Multinational Companies, like Google and Microsoft. The process is still ongoing, and more employees are expected to be laid off in the coming months. In such a situation, the media, too, have decided to follow the path of the Tech Giants.

CNN has started the process of layoffs, although it is not yet clear how many CNN employees have lost their jobs. The US media reports have claimed that the number is more than 100, as at least 75 media professionals have lost their jobs in NBC and MSNBC. However, there has been no official acknowledgment of this piece of news. At the same time, the information has not been denied by the concerned Media Houses.

Frederick Joseph Ryan Jr, the Chief Executive Officer of The Washington Post, had raised concerns in this regard in December 2022. On December 14 (2022), Ryan announced that The Washington Post would continue to eliminate jobs in early 2023, as it would shut its Sunday magazine and lay off 11 newsroom employees. Speaking at a companywide meeting, he stressed that the cuts would probably amount to a “single-digit percentage” of the company’s 2,500 employees. The CEO stated that the company would add new jobs in an attempt to offset the loss of positions that were “no longer serving readers”. He further assured that The Washington Post’s total head count would not be reduced. The situation of Vice Media Group LLC, an American-Canadian digital media and broadcasting company, is so bad that it will be sold out. There is uncertainty in the US about how the job security of the employees will be under the new owner.

Media jobs have been shrinking in the US for the past few years. As per a study carried out by the PEW Research Centre in 2021, the total number of media professions in the US dropped from 114,000 to 85,000 between 2008 and 2020. Hence, the situation is becoming more and more difficult mainly for the local and small Media Houses.

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