In terms of layoff/cutback stories, that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Rumors surfaced late Tuesday about massive editorial layoffs at Irvine, California-based Entrepreneur Media. Two FOLIO: requests for comment have gone unanswered, but a knowledgeable source tells me that eight editorial staffers—including executive editor Charlotte Jensen and managing editor Mike Werling—have been cut. If that’s true, a quick count of editorial names on the masthead indicates that 15 print and online editorial employees remain—including a copy editor, a research editor, a listings assistant and two interns. There aren’t many people left to write the magazine.
There also have been rumors that Forbes Media has started a second round of layoffs, this time letting go more than 50 people. My e-mail about the cuts was bounced from spokesperson to spokesperson and I never received an official response. Forbes announced a restructuring in November that resulted in 43 layoffs.
The rumors hit b-to-b publishing, too. Sources told me today that Milo Media—which saw six staffers, including several publishers, walk out last week to form their own, competing publishing company—has closed down altogether. Phone calls and e-mails to president Mike Domke have not been returned.
I also received a tip that Randolph, New Jersey-based Edgell Communications slashed employee salaries by 10 percent company-wide. That, it turns out, was true. “As consistent with Edgell’s operating philosophy, particularly over this recent downturn, the salary reduction was a proactive decision based on the high degree of uncertainty in the market,” a spokesperson wrote in an e-mail. “Our revenue forecasting—even over several months—has become increasingly unreliable.” Edgell, which reorganized late last year, said no layoffs were associated with the salary cuts.
It’s a tough time to be in magazine publishing. Sometimes it seems all you can do is put on your helmet and let the shrapnel fall.