Media Giants’ Year-End Layoffs In Time For Christmas

As 2023 draws to a close during the middle of the Christmas season — the media landscape is undergoing a seismic shift. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, media giants will be engaged in a year-end scramble to balance their books, leading to a wave of layoffs that threaten to cast a shadow over Christmas for many of their employees.

The first round of firings was executed on Thursday when twelve employees from Condé Nast were fired from The New Yorker. Notable departures included the departure of Andy Borowitz, a humorist whose once-popular “fake news” imitations generated substantial traffic.

Other writers laid off include Sue Halpern and Carolyn Kormann, culture editor Michael Agger, three video staffers, four copy-desk and a social-media specialist, and an interactive designer.

Katherine Boo, a Pulitzer-winning investigative reporter, reportedly resigned from The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, which initially announced its plans to make cuts earlier this year, is now on hold while the union negotiates a new contract with Condé. On Friday, The Los Angeles Times took a hit with 74 total positions, including 9 video journalism positions, being eliminated.

Executive Editor Kevin Merida reassured the newsroom in an email obtained by Confider, stating, “We are fortunate that our ownership has and will continue to invest in the Los Angeles Times.” He noted that the reduction and layoffs are a result of an ongoing restructuring of a studio operation that aims to transform intellectual property into film and streaming projects.

The Messenger’s media tycoon Jimmy Finklestein’s ambitious plan to revive the era of “objective” media via a “WaPo-DailyMail hybrid,” is now contemplating layoffs. Launched in May with 150 journalists, the site aimed to expand to 550 but has encountered financial challenges this fall.

Some strategic realignment is being considered for the site and management is reviewing content now, likely resulting in additional layoffs by the end of the year. The Washington Post is equally uncertain, hinting at substantial cuts if it fails to get its voluntary buyout target of 240.

The New Yorker and Condé Nast refused to comment while Merida did not respond to a request for comment.