The Los Angeles Times laid off >20% of the people who work in its newsroom. Line up five people. One is given a cardboard box. About 115 people got boxes.
Over at Time magazine, the CEO sent out a memo to staff that says, in part, “We must continue increasing our revenue while managing operating costs efficiently. Over the last 12 months we have diligently reduced our expenses. There is still more work to be done.” More work to be done by fewer people, as the union that represents Time’s editorial staff reported that 15% of its members were let go.
Business Insider’s CEO’s memo pointed out that last year they developed a vision and “This year is about making it happening and focusing our company and efforts toward the future.” Then the other shoe dropped: “Unfortunately, this also means we need to scale back in some areas of our organization.” As in some 8% of its employees being eliminated from the rolls.
Sports Illustrated, which figured a few years back that while it might have some of the best sports writing in the known Universe, putting sexy women in bikinis on its cover would provide more visibility for the brand and at the very least one-time purchases by people standing in line at Barnes and Noble, had about 100 people in its newsroom. Week-before-last the management sent out emails to many of those writers and editors advising them that their services were no longer required. And some of those remaining got a message telling them that they have 90 days or so. Sports Illustrated is owned by Authentic Brands. Authentic Brands also owns an array of other brands that aren’t ink-on-paper or digits-rendered-on-a-screen, like Airwalk and Eddie Bauer, Dolce and Gabana and Juicy Couture, Quiksilver and Reebok. It also owns the right to Elvis. Perhaps before you know it, when the King’s cred diminishes, his likeness will be looking for work.