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Serial layoffs within the American media, towards a backdrop of financial gloom

CNN, Vox Media, Washington Put up… the winter is marked by a brand new collection of layoffs within the American media, a development that continues towards the backdrop of a dismal financial local weather.

“I’m a part of the group fired by @NBCInvestigates (NBC) (…) I’ll miss it, however I’m grateful for the time right here.”

Like Emily Siegel, who didn’t want to communicate intimately after this tweet on Wednesday, a number of journalists from the editorial workers of NBC, the channel of the identical MSNBC group, and even CNN, took the lead and introduced on social networks their dismissal since December.

On Friday, it was at Vox Media, proprietor of the Vox, The Verge, SBNation websites and since 2019 of the celebrated New York Journal, that workers obtained the identical electronic mail from their boss, Jim Bankoff, saying “the troublesome determination to take away about 7% of our workers in all departments”, together with editorial, “resulting from a troublesome financial atmosphere”.

– “quarter-hour” –

The staff involved, round 130 out of 1,900, had been notified by a second message “inside quarter-hour”, in keeping with this electronic mail.

A number of of them have testified on social networks to their anger or dismay, comparable to Meghan McCarron, journalist for “9 and a half years” on the location specializing in catering Eater, and dismissed at “37 weeks” of being pregnant. Vox Media replied to AFP that the group supplied “aggressive severance packages”, together with extra weeks of compensation within the occasion of imminent parental depart.

If the layoffs should not have the scope of the social plans of huge tech teams like Google on Friday (12,000 jobs lower), the American media are additionally affected by “the drop in promoting income and the slowdown within the economic system” , explains to AFP Chris Roush, professor of journalism and dean of the varsity of communication at Quinnipiac College (Connecticut).

“Numerous them have grown and expanded in hopes of rising their audiences to a sure stage. That hasn’t occurred and is unlikely to occur given the financial backdrop,” provides he.

– Fewer journalists –

Newsroom employment has suffered a protracted decline in america, falling from 114,000 to 85,000 journalists between 2008 and 2020, in keeping with a examine by the Pew Analysis Heart in 2021. With a extra marked decline within the native press.

“Journalism has lengthy been beneath stress and quite a lot of corporations appear to suppose now could be an opportune time to chop their labor prices,” lamented the Writers Guild of America East union, which oversees the unions. from NBC and MSNBC. Throughout the two media, which didn’t reply to AFP, 75 workers had been dismissed, in keeping with American media.

An announcement can be dreaded within the Washington Put up, the place publication director Fred Ryan warned in mid-December that job cuts would happen in the course of the first quarter of 2023, representing “a single-digit proportion” of the two,500 workers, however with out “ internet downsizing”.

The editorial workers of the every day purchased in 2013 by Jeff Bezos had already realized of the top for Christmas 2022 of the Sunday journal complement, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes in 2008 and 2010.

– Competitors –

At CNN, the entire layoffs in December would have reached a number of hundred workers in keeping with American media (out of greater than 4,000), figures not confirmed by the chain. They came about as a part of a reorganization after the merger between WarnerMedia (CNN, HBO Max) and Discovery, which shaped media and streaming big Warner Bros. Discovery.

Witnessing the strategic turmoil, in April, the group had deserted its paid streaming service CNN +, solely a month after its launch.

With viewers and paid cable subscribers declining for years and competitors from platforms like Netflix, “it is a fixed battle for these corporations to carry on,” stated Naveen Sarma, director of U.S. media and telecoms at S&P International. Rankings.

For Chris Roush, CNN or the Washington Put up, “these will not go away, however a smaller firm may have extra issues, as a result of it is smaller and never as established as a media model” , he explains. He cites particularly Buzzfeed, which laid off 12% of its workers in December, or Vice Media, whose basic supervisor Nancy Dubuc introduced to its workers on Friday that it was contemplating promoting the group.

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