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Things Get Tense at Washington Post ‘Town Hall’ After Publisher Announces More Layoffs

Things Get Tense at Washington Post ‘Town Hall’ After Publisher Announces More Layoffs

“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,” the WaPo Guild tweeted.

https://twitter.com/anniegowen/status/1603071294316199937

Last month, Axios reported that “the media industry is getting hit by sizable rounds of layoffs and cost-cutting measures as the ad market continues to show signs of a serious slowdown.”

Though one of the more notable examples of this happening has been Warner Bros. Discovery, where CNN chief Chris Licht has been shuffling some staff to other positions within the company while parting ways with others, the Washington Post has been impacted as well, with an announcement at the end of November noting they’d be ending the Sunday WaPo Magazine and laying off its eleven staffers.

But on Wednesday, nearly a week after the Wall Street Journal reported that the Post had lost 500,000 subscribers since Joe Biden was sworn in, WaPo publisher Fred Ryan announced during an employee “town hall” that even more layoffs would be coming:

The Washington Post will continue to eliminate jobs early next year, Publisher Fred Ryan said Wednesday, weeks after the paper announced it will shutter its Sunday magazine and lay off 11 newsroom employees.

Ryan said at a companywide meeting that the cuts will probably amount to a “single-digit percentage” of the company’s 2,500 employees but did not provide specifics. He added, though, that the company will add new jobs to offset the loss of positions that are “no longer serving readers,” and that The Post’s total head count will not be reduced.

Later, in an email to staff, Ryan said that the plan to cut jobs “in no way signals that we are scaling back our ambitions” but that “like any business, The Post cannot keep investing resources in initiatives that do not meet our customers’ needs.”

Tensions rose rather quickly in the aftermath, with employees talking over each other and shouting out questions, including one staff member who told Ryan he was obligated to answer them because “we’re a news organization that values transparency.” Another apparently thought it was Ryan’s responsibility to “protect people’s jobs”:

The Guild further aired their grievances in a Twitter thread, expressing that they were “outraged” layoffs would be coming even though they were supposedly told “growth” was happening at the paper:

Not shown in the clips above was the exit music that was allegedly played after Ryan left the room:

Several prominent conservative figures weighed in after the video hit Twitter, and there was little to no sympathy on display for the WaPo employees:

Others made suggestions as to who should be given their walking papers:

While some did express sympathy, it came with some questions:

It was more proof that when you go woke, you go broke, others opined:

As for the Washington Post’s supposed “transparency” issues, suffice it to say that these employees are finding out the hard way what readers have known for years about the WaPo’s “transparency”:

They have none.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

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Comments

I wish I could take this news, ground it into powder, and snort it.

    Ghostrider in reply to Olinser. | December 16, 2022 at 8:43 am

    Hard core liberals in 2020: “We need a recession to defeat Trump!”

    Hard core liberals in 2022: “Wait, what? You’re firing me ?”

“we’re a news organization that values transparency.”
So the Post is going into the comedy biz?

“they were “outraged” layoffs would be coming even though they were supposedly told “growth” was happening at the paper”

I suppose “growth” is an acceptable synonym for “metastasis.”

Just more demonstration of why the formerly richest man in the world is no longer the richest man in the world.

    Ghostrider in reply to henrybowman. | December 16, 2022 at 8:23 am

    The expression of ‘Go Woke, Go Broke’ hits home.

    Losing over 500000 subscribers knocked the bottom off WaPost’s subscription, and advertising revenues business model.

    Despite the play and fun liberal, woke writers get from social media, the practice of woke culture has realized diminishing returns. Finally, cancel culture is inevitably leading to cancellation of jobs.

My gosh those kids sounded like Millenials and Gen Zers.

    The audience they’re playing to doesn’t read newspapers. If you want to sell newspapers you have to appeal to people who buy your product.

      Ronbert in reply to Paula. | December 17, 2022 at 10:06 am

      “The audience they’re playing to doesn’t read newspapers.”
      Corrected: “The audience they’re playing to doesn’t read.”

    Ghostrider in reply to Whitewall. | December 16, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Isn’t that the truth! Especially liked the guy who said, “I thought you were supposed to protect our jobs…”

    Priceless

The Gentle Grizzly | December 15, 2022 at 5:24 pm

Maybe the Time is hiring…?

Huh. The WAPO employees began asking direct questions and demanding answers in an attempt to find out what was really happening. They actually tried to hold the powerful accountable. Had they been willing to do so sooner then perhaps the WAPO wouldn’t be bleeding subscribers and their jobs wouldn’t be in jeopardy.

You. Just. Hate. To. See. It.

LOLGF, former WaPo employees.

Long have they been warned about this sort of thing. To quote Sen. Cotton:

“I’ll say this: ‘I’m sorry that’s happening to you. Best of luck.”

And the depth of delusion is staggering:

“One way to save money is cut back on all the far right columnists, who write the same thing every week. Cheaper to just have one or use an AI bot to generate that slop.”

OMG, we’re in a hole. Dig faster!

99 cents for 3 months? Nope, not even when it’s free

Subotai Bahadur | December 15, 2022 at 6:17 pm

We as a country and people are undoubtedly heading for hard times. Perhaps to a level that my ancestors would have referred to as “interesting times”. In the next few months things are going to get a lot worse.

But every so often, you see a bit of news that brings a smile to your face. What is happening to the Washington Post is such a bit of news.

Subotai Bahadur

    henrybowman in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | December 15, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Someone commented that in an entire room full of WaPo reporters, barely one of them managed to land a question.

      AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to henrybowman. | December 15, 2022 at 10:21 pm

      That’s because there was no Associated Press article pre-written by a Democrat operative so that the “journaliars” at WaPo could insert local flavor and add their byline.

      These clowns believe that an employer is obligated to save their jobs after losing 500,000 subscribers. While the rest of us have to worry about Biden’s policies putting us out of work, with no hope of our employers having an obligation to employ us during a downturn.

      Maybe the WaPo employees can get a real job, say building houses. Oh, my bad. The housing industry is taking a dive and those people are being laid off too.

      diver64 in reply to henrybowman. | December 16, 2022 at 5:45 pm

      It hadn’t been Tweeted yet so they had no idea what to do

JackinSilverSpring | December 15, 2022 at 6:43 pm

So, Pravda on the Potomac is sinking. Cry me a river.

This just gives the former Post reporters time to follow their passions- plant trees for the the Green Movement, feed and care for the homeless, and to sponsor illegal aliens so they might become productive members of society.

World’s second-richest man, following lead of world’s richest man, executes layoffs of superfluous employees at media company he owns.

After the layoffs, richest guy retains a core of effective employees and ability to execute. It remains to be seen if second-richest guy will retain that at his media bauble, perhaps illustrating why he is Number Two.

MoeHowardwasright | December 15, 2022 at 7:08 pm

What was Taylor Lorenz’s take on these developments? Has she doxxed Jeff Bezos yet? /s

In the words of Jeremy Clarkson: Oh no! Anyway.

It shows that even though the left has control of key spots in the country (gov/media) that there really aren’t as many leftists as everyone thinks there is. There’s not enough of them to financially support these woke places and they are going out of business or suffering heavily financially as a result.

#learn2coal

Dear WaPo employees:

Learn to code.

The twits voted for the policies that NOW (pun intended) threaten their professional viability, equitable and inclusive under the Pro-Choice ethical religion of Progressive sects. One step forward, two steps backward.

Oh well, it’s not like they ever did anything useful.

#learn2weld

Now, where is that tiny violin? I keep misplacing it.

Ahh…the young progressive reporters after spending the last three to four years defending Fauci and spewing follow the science narrative are now facing the consequences and the reality of ignoring the economics of business.

Let us encourage them tp go on strike until all those fired have been rehired at 150% of their former salarya

Those coding bootcamps are going to be bursting at the seams come 2023.

    diver64 in reply to Thad Jarvis. | December 16, 2022 at 5:53 pm

    Damn, and here I was hoping to give up 30yrs of 70hr weeks as a truck driver to sit at home in my pajama’s eating Cheesy Poofs™ while make $18,500 a month!

Sounds like this place got visited by Mr Sandman? I bet that affected their discretionary spending budget.