- The Washington Post announced plans Tuesday to cut 240 jobs — almost 10% of its workforce — through voluntary buyouts.1
- The Post currently employs around 2.5K people, and this buyout announcement comes nearly nine months after the newspaper reduced its newsroom staff by 50 positions, including 20 layoffs.2
- Interim CEO Patty Stonesifer attributed the need for cuts to the company's 'need to adjust our cost structure now,' saying the company had been 'overly optimistic' about its subscription, traffic, and advertising projections over the past two years.3
- Stonesifer said that the company was hoping to solve its staffing surplus through buyouts, hoping to avert more difficult actions like layoffs. 'Journalism functions' are planned to account for around half of the buyouts. Buyout packages will be limited to 240 people.4
- The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is on track to lose nearly $100M this year. Subscriptions to the paper have declined in recent years and the company has struggled with an industry-wide decline in digital advertising.5
- Other news outlets — including Vox, NPR, Vice, MTV, and Insider — have announced plans to significantly reduce their workforces in 2023, while BuzzFeed shut down its entire news division this year.6
- Narrative A, as provided by New york times. Poor business decisions by executives who work for Jeff Bexos are to blame for staff — including vital journalists — getting laid off. It's unacceptable that they are bearing the brunt of organizational mismanagement.
- Narrative B, as provided by Washington Post. The difficult decision to cut back on staff is unfortunate, but it's what’s best for the company and will put The Post in a strong place in the future. The company simply cannot keep investing in initiatives that don't meet the needs of customers and needs to instead put resources into high-priority areas. This move is simply a reaction to a fast-changing media landscape.