Famed for its captivating content, one of the most iconic magazines in its genre is about to lose its allure. National Geographic has made the decision to part ways with its remaining staff writers and will halt the distribution of its physical copies on newsstands throughout the United States.
As reported by the Washington Post, a total of nineteen editorial staffers were impacted by the recent layoffs. The news was also confirmed by several employees on Twitter.
Expressing gratitude for the opportunity to work alongside remarkable journalists and contribute to significant global stories, former senior writer Craig Welch tweeted, "I’ve been so lucky. I got to work w/incredible journalists and tell important, global stories. It’s been an honour."
According to the Washington Post, future editorial work for the organization will be handled by freelance writers and the limited number of editors who remain on staff. As part of cost-cutting measures implemented by its parent company, Disney, the magazine known for its iconic yellow border will no longer be sold on newsstands in the United States starting next year.
Contrary to previous reports, National Geographic clarified to media outlets that a portion of its writers will continue to be retained on staff. In an official statement, a magazine spokesperson expressed: “National Geographic will continue to publish a monthly magazine that is dedicated to exceptional multi-platform storytelling with cultural impact. Staffing changes will not change our ability to do this work, but rather give us more flexibility to tell different stories and meet our audiences where they are across our many platforms. Any insinuation that the recent changes will negatively impact the magazine, or the quality of our storytelling, is simply incorrect.”
Amidst a wave of significant workforce reductions that have reverberated throughout the media industry in recent months, the latest development adds to the list of upheavals. Towards the end of November, CNN initiated a large-scale layoff process, affecting numerous staff members across various departments. This round of layoffs marked the second instance in the previous year, following the cancellation of the newly launched CNN+ streaming platform merely three weeks after its introduction, resulting in the displacement of 350 employees.
During December 2022, Buzzfeed's CEO, Jonah Peretti, made a significant announcement stating that approximately 12% of the company's workforce, amounting to nearly 200 individuals, would be laid off. As a consequence, the announcement had a severe impact on the company's stock, resulting in an all-time low of $1.06 per share, reflecting the declining fortunes of the once-prominent company.
Vice Media, known for its online and broadcast platforms, recently underwent a round of layoffs, impacting approximately a dozen employees. In May of this year, the company filed for bankruptcy, indicating a significant setback. This move seemed to signal a bleak outlook for Vice, as it had previously eliminated 250 positions in 2019.