In a meeting with employees on Wednesday, The Washington Post‘s publisher, Fred Ryan, stated that the media company would eliminate some positions in 2023, some of which would be in the newsroom, according to The New York Times.
According to the news report, this decision was made as the company seeks to focus on different coverage areas. Mr. Ryan said that the cuts would amount to a single-digit percentage of staff, adding that the company would finish its plans over the coming weeks.
He said there would not be an overall reduction in the newsroom’s head count because the cuts would be offset by hiring in other areas. The newsroom has more than 1,000 employees.
According to people familiar with the event, newspaper publisher Fred Ryan’s remarks came during a heated town hall meeting, which ended with Mr. Ryan walking offstage without answering follow-up questions from employees. The video footage of the town hall meeting is going viral on social media.
Watch the video here:
Today, we came into WaPo’s so-called town hall with questions about recent layoffs and the future of the company.
Our publisher dropped a bombshell on us by announcing more layoffs and then walking out, refusing to answer any of our questions. pic.twitter.com/ajNZsZKOBr
— Washington Post Guild (@PostGuild) December 14, 2022
The Washington Post said in a statement that the layoffs were part of a plan to “invest in coverage, products, and people in service of providing high value to our subscribers and new audiences.”
At the town hall meeting’s conclusion, publisher Fred Ryan stated that The Washington Post will continue to grow. He did not say whether those who were laid off would be rehired or reassigned. Employees were outraged, and the company cut the livestream for those who weren’t in the room.
Mr. Ryan dismissed the workers’ questions and walked out of the town hall, leaving everyone speechless.
The staff in the meeting appeared enraged by the leader’s dismissal of their concerns. One of his female employees accused him of being disrespectful.
This is not the first layoff at a major media company in recent days. CNN, which is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, cut many jobs earlier this month as part of its cost-cutting strategy.
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