The Washington Post began to lay off some employees on Tuesday, less than a week after billionaire owner Jeff Bezos made an appearance at a newsroom meeting. The paper is eliminating 20 existing positions and will leave another 30 vacancies unfilled.
• Post publisher Fred Ryan announced in mid-December that the company was preparing to lay off a “single-digit percentage” of its 2,500-person staff. In November, the Post shuttered its Sunday magazine and fired 10 staffers, including the paper’s “Pulitzer Prize-winning dance critic.”
• The journalism industry has been wracked by layoffs since President Joe Biden took office and former president Donald Trump retreated from public view. CNN fired hundreds of staffers in December; Vox Media did the same earlier this month, citing the “economic climate.”
What they’re saying:
The Washington Post Guild issued a defiant response to the firings: “We believe any job eliminations right now—at a time of continued growth and expansion—are unacceptable.”
The Post is definitely not in the midst of “a time of continued growth and expansion.” The paper lost half a million subscribers since Trump left office in January 2021, a decline of roughly 20 percent, and was on track to lose money in 2022 after years of profitability.
Trump often said he was “the best thing to ever happen” to mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post. “Newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there,” he predicted in 2017. “Without me, their ratings are going down the tubes.”
He was right.
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