The Washington Post will be cutting about 240 jobs, employees were told Tuesday.
Patty Stonesifer, the chief executive officer at the Post, told employees that their hopes for online subscriptions had been “overly optimistic,” according to The Hill.
Stonesifer replaced Fred Ryan as publisher several months after the Post cut about two dozen newsroom staff jobs.
The Post has been retrenching, and last fall killed off its Sunday print magazine.
The Post, in reporting about itself, said about 2,500 people work for the newspaper.
It noted that layoffs have hit multiple media outlets, including CNN, which cut staff in December, Vox Media, which had a 7 percent staff cut last January, and Gannett, which has had multiple layoffs throughout its chain of local newspapers.
The storied @washingtonpost is cutting 240 positions with voluntary packages aimed at preventing layoffs down the line.
— Dawn Kopecki (@Dawn_Kopecki) October 10, 2023
The Times report said a shortfall in ad revenue was part of the problem.
The Post had about 3 million digital subscribers in 2020, according to the Times. That has fallen to about 2.5 million.
After the unjustified layoffs earlier this year, we hope that other cost-cutting measures have been explored: reductions to exec. salaries + the company’s expensive outside counsel, @JonesDay, who has aided The Post in its lengthy, ongoing contract fight against its own employees
— Washington Post Guild (@PostGuild) October 10, 2023
The Washingtonian published the Stonesifer memo, in which she told employees, “our prior projections for traffic, subscriptions, and advertising growth for the past two years — and into 2024 — have been overly optimistic and we are working to find ways to return our business to a healthier place in the coming year.”
“We have work going on across the organization to develop a strong plan for 2024 — and make no mistake — we remain bullish about the future of The Washington Post. Our core products and many of our recent investments show great promise — and we all believe the growth we saw in 2016 to 2021 will be ours again if we prioritize and plan appropriately,” she wrote.
“But the urgent need to invest in our top growth priorities brought us to the difficult conclusion that we need to adjust our cost structure now,” she continued.
“As a result, we have decided to offer a voluntary separation package over the next few weeks designed to reduce our workforce by approximately 240 people across all functions of The Post,” she wrote.
“This program will offer generous incentives to employees in specific roles where we believe we can reduce costs if work can be assigned more efficiently, where positions do not need to be replaced or where we can otherwise achieve cost savings through a voluntary reduction in our workforce,” she wrote noting that more than 240 people will be notified that they can participate.
“To be clear, we designed this program to reduce our workforce by approximately 240 employees in the hopes of averting more difficult actions such as layoffs — a situation we are united in trying to avoid,” Stonesifer added.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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