The Washington Post Cuts 20 Newsroom Jobs, Eliminates 30 Vacant Positions – Deadline

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The Washington Post cut 20 newsroom positions on Tuesday, the latest media company to undergo a round of job cuts amid turbulence throughout media and publishing.

Sally Buzbee, executive editor of the Post, said in a member to employees that another 30 open positions would be eliminated.

She said that, in deciding which positions to cut , they identified those that “are not essential to serving our competitive needs.”

“All employees impacted by these changes are eligible to apply for posted positions, and the Newsroom’s recruiting team will reach out to each one to discuss this process and help identify available roles, she wrote to staffers. She added that they are offering a separation package that includes severance and continued health insurance coverage.

“While such changes are not easy, evolution is necessary for us to stay competitive, and the economic climate has guided our decision to act now. We believe these steps will ultimately help us to fulfill our mission to scrutinize power and empower readers. We are not planning further job eliminations at this time.”

Washington Post Publisher Fred Ryan said at a staff town hall last month that the company would go through layoffs. But that meeting drew employee protest, with one moment posted on social media as staffers pressed him for more details.

The positions that were eliminated were spread across multiple departments and also included the elimination of Launcher, the Post’s online gaming vertical, and KidsPost. The Post discontinued its Sunday magazine late last year, resulting in the departures of other staffers. A source said that even with the eliminated positions, there would not be a net reduction in head count, as the Post hires in other areas.

The Washington Post Guild, which says it represents about 1,000 Post employees, said in a statement, “Today, The Washington Post laid off 20 of our colleagues. While 20 is much smaller than 200 — ‘a single digit percentage of the workforce,’ as Publisher Fred Ryan indicated, that’s little consolation to those who lost their jobs today. That number should be zero.”

Buzbee’s full memo is below:

Dear Colleagues,

I want to let everyone know we have completed the review of newsroom positions announced at the December town hall and provide you with an update on the actions we have taken today.  We have made the difficult decision to eliminate 20 current newsroom positions, and we have reached out to those employees. In addition, we have identified 30 open positions we will not fill. 

Newsroom leaders made these decisions after a thoughtful and deliberate review of our current roles and vacant positions.  We prioritized the elimination of vacancies to minimize the impact on employees. We are also eliminating currently filled positions we concluded are not essential to serving our competitive needs. All employees impacted by these changes are eligible to apply for posted positions, and the Newsroom’s recruiting team will reach out to each one to discuss this process and help identify available roles.  We are also offering a separation incentive program to these employees that includes severance and continued health insurance coverage.

While such changes are not easy, evolution is necessary for us to stay competitive, and the economic climate has guided our decision to act now. We believe these steps will ultimately help us to fulfill our mission to scrutinize power and empower readers. We are not planning further job eliminations at this time.

I know this news is difficult.  Our decision to eliminate these positions was not an easy one, and we respect and appreciate the journalists affected by the changes. We value their commitment to The Post and I am grateful for the many contributions they have made to our journalism.

If you have any questions, managers and I will be available. We will do our best to support everyone through this process.

Sincerely, 

Sally


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