New Delhi, June 29 : Finding it hard to sustain in the digital era, the 135-year old Walt Disney-owned National Geographic magazine has laid off the last 19 staff writers, the media reported.
The staffers were notified in April of their terminations. The layoffs are the second over the past nine months, and the fourth since a series of ownership changes began in 2015, the Washington Post reported. As part of the cost-cutting measures, the company had removed six top editors in September last year.
The latest cuts also eliminated the magazine’s small audio department, the report said.
“My new National Geographic just arrived, which includes my latest feature — my 16th, and my last as a senior writer,” Craig Welch, senior writer at NatGeo, wrote on Twitter.
“NatGeo is laying off all of its staff writers. I’ve been so lucky. I got to work w/incredible journalists and tell important, global stories. It’s been an honour,” he added.
The company said its future editorial work will be done by freelance writers and the few editors remaining on staff, the Post reported.
The famous bright-yellow-bordered print publication, which had more than 1.7 million subscribers at the end of 2022, will continue to publish monthly issues, a magazine spokesperson told CNN in a statement.
“Staffing changes will not change our ability to do this work, but rather give us more flexibility to tell different stories and meet our audiences where they are across our many platforms,” the spokesperson said. “Any insinuation that the recent changes will negatively impact the magazine, or the quality of our storytelling, is simply incorrect.”
However, in an internal announcement made last month, the company said the magazines will no longer be sold on newsstands in the US, from next year onwards.
“It’s been an epic run, @NatGeo. My colleagues and I were unbelievably lucky to be the last-ever class of staff writers—certainly the coolest job I’ll ever have, and possibly among the coolest to ever exist,” Nina Strochlic, a writer at NatGeo wrote on Twitter.