National Geographic Cuts Remaining Staff Writers, To Stop US Sales In 2024

National Geographic has laid off its remaining staff writers, affecting 19 people. The latest round of layoffs comes as part of cost-cutting measures implemented by the magazine’s parent company, Disney.

The organization plans to shift its editorial work to freelance writers and a few remaining editors, according to a report from The Washington Post. The majority of article assignments will be contracted out to freelance contributors or assembled by editors. The magazine’s small audio department is also affected by the recent cutbacks.

In addition to the layoffs, National Geographic announced that it will no longer be available on newsstands in the United States starting next year. The decision to cease newsstand sales is another cost-saving measure initiated by Disney. 

“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,” National Geographic spokesperson Chris Albert said in a statement to the media. “Any insinuation that the recent changes will negatively impact the magazine, or the quality of our storytelling, is simply incorrect.”

The magazine’s descent to extinction can be attributed to several factors, including the transition from print to digital media. As print publications face challenges in the digital age, National Geographic has struggled to maintain its position as a widely read magazine. While it remains one of the most widely read magazines in America, its subscriber base has decreased to just under 1.8 million as of the end of 2022 from 12 million in the US and millions more around the world during its peak in the ‘80s.

Ownership changes and corporate reshufflings may have also contributed to the Magazine’s decline. In 2015, the National Geographic Society formed a for-profit partnership with 21st Century Fox, which eventually came under the ownership of Disney in 2019. These changes have had an impact on the magazine’s direction and financial stability.

According to The Post, the 19 staffers were notified of their eventual termination months ahead in April. This round of cuts marks the second since September, and the fourth since the change of ownership in 2015. In last year’s layoffs, Disney cut six of the publication’s top editors

This is the latest in a series of layoffs in the broader media landscape. Just last week, Bloomberg cut 10 jobs from its national news desk, radio, and television staff. The week before, Bell Canada announced that it would slash 1,300 jobs and shut down six radio stations.

Information for this story was found via The Washington Post, CNN, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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