TJM Institutional Services director James Iuorio predicts a longer economic lag this year.
Several media outlets have announced layoffs in January 2024 as economic challenges take a toll on the industry.
Business Insider, the Los Angeles Times, TIME and Sports Illustrated are among the publications that have downsized their editorial operations as they restructure and reorient their business models to suit the changing media landscape.
The latest cuts come as the media industry struggled to restore advertising revenue to pre-pandemic levels and faces rising competition from social media platforms for readers’ attention. Here’s a look at the details of the layoffs at these four outlets:
LAYOFFS SURGED 98% IN 2023; IT COULD GET WORSE THIS YEAR
The Los Angeles Times is among the media outlets that has announced layoffs in January 2024. ((Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) / Getty Images)
Business Insider, owned by multinational media conglomerate Axel Springer SE, announced that it would lay off about 8% of its staff last week as it restructures its business.
“We closed out last year with a plan in place, a clear target audience, and a vision. This year is about making it happen and focusing our company and efforts towards this future,” Business Insider CEO Barbara Peng wrote in a message dated Jan. 25. “We have already begun to refocus teams and invest in areas that drive outsize value for our core audience. Unfortunately, this also means we need to scale back in some areas of our organization.”
“As part of this new direction, today we are announcing we are reducing the size of our team – a change that impacts about 8% of our people,” Peng wrote. “We’re committed to building an enduring and sustainable Business Insider for the coming years and beyond.”
Axel Springer is the parent company of Business Insider, which announced layoffs last week. (Photo by Monika Skolimowska/picture alliance via Getty Images / Getty Images)
She added that workers impacted by the layoffs will receive a minimum of 13 weeks’ pay and medical coverage through May, as well as career support sessions involving 1-on-1 coaching sessions, resume review, plus training on networking, interviewing and negotiations.
LEVI’S TO CUT UP TO 15% OF GLOBAL WORKFORCE
Emma LeGault, unit chair of the Insider Union and a senior copy editor for Business Insider, wrote in a statement that, “From the timing of today’s announcement – not even a month after our layoff moratorium expired – it’s clear that management has been eager to lay more of us off. We’re especially disgusted that management has chosen to do this while Axel Springer is reportedly able to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars of dividends to their investors.”
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times announced last week that it would be laying off at least 115 people, or more than 20% of the paper’s newsroom, in response to ongoing losses that owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong were in the range of $30 million to $40 million per year.
“Today’s decision is painful for all, but it is imperative that we act urgently and take steps to build a sustainable and thriving paper for the next generation. We are committed to doing so,” Soon-Shiong said.
Ad hoc caucuses within the Los Angeles Times Guild designed to represent diverse communities within the newsroom will be “decimated” by the liberal paper’s decision to lay off at least 115 staffers this week, according to the Guild. ((Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images) / Getty Images)
LA TIMES FACES BACKLASH OVER LAYOFFS THAT ‘DECIMATED’ UNION GROUPS OF ‘OVERWHELMINGLY DIVERSE REPORTERS’
Chris Argentieri, the Times’ president and chief operating officer, wrote in a memo to staff that the “economic reality of our organization is extremely challenging” and that, “Despite our owner’s willingness to continue to invest, we need to take immediate steps to improve our cash position.”
The LA Times Guild has blasted the layoffs, arguing they’ve hit reporters from diverse backgrounds particularly hard.
The Los Angeles Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sports Illustrated, which is owned by Authentic Brands Group and was published under license by the Arena Group, announced significant layoffs after Authentic Brands revoked the license after Arena Group missed payments as it looks to cut costs and address its debt burden. As a result, Arena announced “a significant reduction in its workforce of over 100 employees.”
Ticker Security Last Change Change % AREN ARENA GROUP HOLDINGS 1.16 +0.04 +3.57%
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED LAYS OFF ‘SIGNIFICANT’ AMOUNT OF STAFF AFTER LICENSE REVOKED, OWNER VOWS TO CONTINUE BRAND
Authentic Brands Group told Fox News Digital in a statement that “The Arena Group’s license to serve as the publisher of Sports Illustrated was terminated as a result of the company’s failure to pay its quarterly license fee despite being given a notice of breach and an opportunity to cure the breach.”
“Authentic is here to ensure that the brand of Sports Illustrated, which includes its editorial arm, continues to thrive as it has for the past nearly 70 years,” it continued. “We are confident that going forward the brand will continue to evolve and grow in a way that serves sports news readers, sports fans, and consumers. We are committed to ensuring that the traditional ad-supported Sports Illustrated media pillar has best in class stewardship to preserve the complete integrity of the brand’s legacy.”
Iconic sports magazine Sports Illustrated underwent significant layoffs amid a licensing dispute between its owner and publisher. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images / Getty Images)
Sports Illustrated’s employee union said the layoffs would cover a significant number, and possibly all, of the employees it represents. Mitch Goldich, NFL editor and unit chair, said in a statement: “We have fought together as a union to maintain the standard of this storied publication that we love, and to make sure our workers are treated fairly for the value they bring to this company. It is a fight we will continue.”
LA TIMES GUILD SAYS PAPER’S LAYOFFS ‘DIDN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY,’ MINORITIES ‘DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED’
TIME Magazine announced last week that it will lay off about 15% of its unionized editorial staff in addition to layoffs in non-union roles at the publication.
TIME CEO Jessica Sibley wrote in a memo to staff that was obtained by CNN that the decision “was not made lightly” and the layoffs aim to put the outlet on a sustainable path for future growth. She wrote, “While this was not an easy decision to make, it is the necessary step we must take in order to drive our business forward and improve our financial position as an organization.”
TIME Magazine announced layoffs last week that will hit about 15% of its unionized staff. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/Getty Images for TIME)
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TIME Union, which represents the magazine’s unionized workers, said in a statement that they “are heartbroken and outraged for our colleagues who lost their jobs. We demand management uphold all terms and conditions laid out in our contract and we will fight back on these layoffs in any way we can.”
“For months, we have asked for information about company finances. Management refused time and time again. We won’t stop pushing until we get honest answers. Journalists and the essential work they do should be TIME’s priority. We won’t stop fighting until we are,” the union added.
FOX Business’s Brian Flood and Chantz Martin contributed to this report.