Newsweek to Cut a Dozen Staffers
Meacham memo: 'I have no spin to offer.'
It may seem like small potatoes compared to the massive rounds of layoffs that have rocked publishing houses like Condé Nast and Time Inc. in recent weeks, but it appears that Newsweek is bracing for another round of job cuts.
According to a memo from the magazine’s top editor Jon Meacham, “about a dozen” positions will be eliminated. “As much as we would like it to be otherwise, market conditions mean that we are going to have to do our work with fewer people,” he wrote.
A Newsweek spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.
Late last year, FOLIO: reported that Newsweek was considering a major overhaul, including a dramatic reduction in rate base. In May, the magazine unveiled a redesign and an editorial shift from news to news analysis.
Through the first nine months of 2009, Newsweek saw ad pages fall 29.2 percent, according to PIB figures. Through the third quarter, Newsweek parent the Washington Post Co. reported a $29.7 million operating loss for its magazine publishing division (which includes Budget Travel magazine), compared to a loss of $27 million during the same quarter last year.
Newsweek reduced its workforce by 44 people during the first quarter as a result of a voluntary retirement incentive the company offered in late 2008.
Below is Meacham’s entire memo, via Politico:
To the Staff
From Jon Meacham
This has been a tough day for the magazine. Because the economic climate in publishing has become ever more difficult, we have been compelled by business considerations to eliminate about a dozen positions. We are parting company with colleagues who have done much to serve the magazine and its readers. As much as we would like it to be otherwise, market conditions mean that we are going to have to do our work with fewer people.
I have no spin to offer. I will say this, though: our new magazine and website have been well received by readers. The different direction we undertook earlier this year continues to appear promising in terms of building and retaining an engaged audience that we hope will be attractive to advertisers while we, like so many other organizations, seek new sources of revenue in order to fulfill our mission. Our situation is not unique. But we will keep working as hard as we can to find solutions that are.
In the meantime, thanks to you all for the work you have done and will do. To those who are leaving, we will miss you, and we wish you the very best.