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January 4, 2024updated 04 Jun 2024 10:16am

At least 8,000 journalism job cuts in UK and North America in 2023

Biggest headcount losses proposed at BCE Inc and CBC in Canada, as well as News Corp and Reach.

By Clara Aberneithie and Charlotte Tobitt

More than 7,900 journalism industry job cuts throughout 2023 at UK, US and Canadian media outlets have been tracked by Press Gazette.

As our estimate is only based on announced cutbacks at larger companies the true figure will be much higher. Job cuts at smaller companies rarely make the news but have been just as widespread last year.

Most of the 7,961 announced redundancies came in the first quarter of the year, when plans to cut 3,545 jobs were reported (some to come throughout the year).

Q2 saw a reported 2,158 job cuts, with 335 in Q3 and 1,923 in Q4.

Cuts appear to drastically outweigh any clusters of jobs being created, with plans for 361 new roles being created appearing in our data.

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The Press Gazette analysis includes proposed job losses as reported by us or other media outlets throughout 2023. In some cases, the planned number of roles announced may differ from the final number of people affected.

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It should also be noted that the jobs counted are not all in editorial, as many companies do not specify the departments of those affected, although we have used editorial-only numbers where possible.

This round-up is not exhaustive: if you know of cuts or boosts to media outlet personnel this year which we’ve missed, let us know at pged@pressgazette.co.uk.

The biggest single reduction was the layoff of 1,300 people at Canadian telecommunications company BCE Inc in June, which included a reduction of 6% of the workforce at Bell Media as it made significant changes to how it delivered news and closed or sold nine radio stations.

Not far behind was a planned headcount reduction during the year of around 1,250 positions at News Corp – although this was to be across the global workforce and in all areas of the business. News Corp’s titles in the US and UK include the New York Post, Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Sun and TalkTV.

Other significant cuts included those by Reach, which planned to make 80 redundancies in January, 192 in March, five in September and 450 in November – making a potential total of around 727.

Meanwhile, in December, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) announced plans to cut 600 positions over the coming year to manage $125m in budget pressures.

For comparison, in 2022 Press Gazette analysis found there were 1,391 editorial job losses in the UK, US and Ireland and 527 planned new editorial jobs.

January: Dotdash Meredith, Smartnews, Vox Media, Reach

US magazine and digital publisher Dotdash Meredith announced it would lay off 7% of staff, or 274 people, spread across almost all departments. Chief executive Neil Vogel cited the "broader challenges of the ad industry and of the economy as a whole" in a note to staff.

Smartnews, a Tokyo-based news aggregation website and app laid off 40% of staff, around 120 people, in the US and China. The company blamed "current economic conditions".

Vox Media laid off 7% of staff, around 133 people, in its third round of redundancies in a year after cutting 39 people in July 2022 and 3% of employees in March 2022.

Reach prepared to make 200 redundancies as it targeted cost savings of at least £30m, citing the need to take action in the face of economic headwinds including “advertising weakness and prolonged cost inflation”. The National Union of Journalists later said the eventual number of jobs affected was about 80.

US news giant Gannett made 108 employees, 57 full-time employees and 51 part-time, redundant as the result of a printing plant closure.

Other media companies to announce job cuts in January included: NBC News and MSNBC (75), Canada's Postmedia Network Group (71), Fandom (around 50), Dow Jones (22), The Washington Post (20), Daily Kos (16) and Adweek (14).

February: News Corp, DC Thomson, NPR

News Corp announced plans to cut 5% of its global workforce, or around 1,250 positions, with its UK arm saying it would "limit recruitment" as a result. News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said rising interest rates and inflation had hurt the business.

It came soon after the announcement of a proposed merger between The Times Scotland and Sunday Times Scotland, with a consultation on an unspecified number of potential job losses.

Scotland-based DC Thomson planned to make 300 redundancies in total, of which 50 were in editorial across its news titles. The company said it needed to fill a £10m gap in its finances by closing some magazines and working more efficiently.

US public broadcaster NPR said it would lay off at least 100 people, or 10% of its workforce, due to the erosion of advertising revenue.

Other media companies to announce job cuts in February included: BDG Media (39), Sports Illustrated (17), WNYC (12) and Lee Enterprises (three).

March: Sirius XM, NPR, Reach, ABC News

US broadcast company Sirius XM said it would cut 8% of its workforce, or 475 roles. CEO Jennifer Witz told staff the cuts would affect nearly every department and was the consequence of today's "uncertain economic environment".

Reach's significant editorial changes continued with plans to cut 192 journalist roles, of more than 420 put at risk.

British online magazine brand Gal-dem, which was staffed by and told the stories of women and non-binary people of colour, closed after eight years with an estimated 12 jobs lost.

Other media companies to announce job cuts in March included: ABC News (50), Salem Media Group (43), Morning Brew (40), New England Public Media (17), CNET (12), The Block (a third of staff) and Gamurs Group (unknown).

April: Insider Inc, Buzzfeed

Insider Inc announced plans to make 10% of its US workforce redundant, thought to be around 60 people. The company said this was necessary so it could stay “healthy and competitive”.

Meanwhile fellow digital media native Buzzfeed closed Buzzfeed News with a 15% reduction in staff across business, content, technology and admin teams. This was believed to have affected around 180 people.

Three BBC News presenters were reported to have taken voluntary redundancy as part of the merger of the broadcaster's UK and global news channels.

May: ESPN, DMGT

US sports network ESPN laid off almost 400 employees to "enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs". These cuts are the media brand's first major layoffs since 2009, when it made 100 employees redundant.

UK newspaper publisher DMGT is believed to have lost "dozens" of journalists in cost-cutting at the Mail on Sunday and Metro.

Three jobs were reportedly lost with the closure of the investigative unit at Fox News.

And MTV News was closed after 36 years, although the number of jobs affected is unknown.

June: Bell Canada Enterprises, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic

Bell Canada Enterprises announced the closure of foreign news bureaux, nine radio stations and the eradication of 1,300 roles, or 3% of its workforce. Vice-president of news at Bell Media, Richard Gray, said the plan involved “moving to a single newsroom approach across brands, allowing for greater collaboration and efficiency”. Around 30% of the positions being cut were vacancies which would not be filled.

Los Angeles Times cut 74 roles in its newsroom, about 13% of the total. Executive editor Kevin Merida said the decision was "made more urgent by the economic climate and the unique challenges of our industry".

Nearby, Southern California Public Radio cut 21 of 175 staff positions, more than 10% of jobs.

National Geographic cut 17 editorial positions, including its last remaining staff writers.

At National World in the UK, there were plans for 25 full-time equivalent roles to be closed and 14 new roles to be created. Its National World news website was affected, as were some of its legacy newspaper titles such as the Yorkshire Evening Post and Portsmouth News.

Other media companies to announce job cuts in June included: Vice (23 at risk), Cheddar News (12), Dot.LA (seven), The Athletic (six), The Hollywood Reporter (at least three)

July: Global Radio, Hearst Magazines

UK radio giant Global put up to 40 roles at risk of redundancy in a restructure of its regional newsrooms.

Meanwhile Hearst Magazines in the US cut 41 roles as the publisher made "strategic decisions that position the business for long-term growth".

August: Barstool Sports, Coin Desk, Texas Tribune

Crypto media company Coin Desk, which was responsible for breaking the story that led to the fall of crypto exchange FTX, let go around 40% of its editorial team, or 18 people.

The Texas Tribune announced it would cut 11 employees and pause the production of two of its podcasts, after the non-profit publication anticipated a tough financial year in 2024. They said: “We’ve never had layoffs, and this was a very difficult decision. It was hard, but we saw no other choice.”

US-based Barstool Sports cut 25% of staff – roughly 100 people - not long after founder Dave Portnoy bought back the business from Penn Entertainment for $1. Chief executive Erika Ayers said: “It’s important that Barstool be able to stand up and sustain itself on its own. We are not going to have the luxury of so many people or so much help anymore which will change how we do things."

September: Reach, Meta, New York Public Radio

Reach planned to make two roles on its national magazine titles redundant along with three on the Daily Express, including longtime royal correspondent Richard Palmer - who ultimately kept his job.

Meta announced it will cut funding for more than 100 community reporters at regional titles across the UK when their current contracts end. The NCTJ, which runs the Community News Project, is hoping to find alternative funding before the jobs are lost this year.

New York Public Radio initially announced a cut to 12% of its workforce in September, but this was changed to 6% in October following union negotiations. This equated to about 20 employees and the cancellation of two podcasts.

October: Washington Post, Google News

The Washington Post began offering voluntary buyouts with an aim of cutting staff by 240, a number it reached shortly before Christmas. Interim chief executive Patty Stonesifer said this meant the company "will enter the new year with a smaller organization but a better financial position".

Google News cut between 40 and 45 positions as the company "streamlined". It emphasised that hundreds of people were still working on its news products.

Other media companies to report job cuts in November included: Mail on Sunday (four in sports).

November: Reach, Conde Nast, BBC, Vice, G/O Media

Reach announced its biggest set of redundancies of the year so far in November, affecting 450 jobs, 320 of which were expected to be in editorial. Thirteen local news websites closed as a result.

The BBC said it would cut 127 jobs across its news and current affairs division, including 34 at Newsnight which would change format to an interview and debate-based show. But at the same time it said it will create 147 digital-focused roles, including new specialist correspondents, a new investigative unit, and new posts at BBC Verify.

New Yorker, Vogue, Wired, Glamour and Vanity Fair publisher Conde Nast laid off at least 300 employees, or 5% of its global workforce.

G/O Media said it would cut 23 jobs in an editorial restructure that included the closure of feminist site Jezebel after 16 years. Jezebel was later sold and resurrected with some of its former employees.

The last round of job cuts at Vice Media Group of 2023 saw up to 100 employees affected.

Other media companies to make job cuts in November included: Press Gazette parent company New Statesman Media Group (total not reported), Vox Media (about 20 or 4% of staff), Pink News (seven from earlier in the year) and The News Movement (seven).

December: CBC, Yahoo News

CBC/Radio-Canada announced it would cut 10% of its workforce, translating to 600 job losses and the elimination of 200 vacant positions. The public broadcaster said it faced $125m in “budget pressures” for 2024/25 amid "rising production costs, declining television advertising revenue and fierce competition from the digital giants". President and chief executive Catherine Tait said: “We’ve successfully managed serious structural declines in our business for many years, but we no longer have the flexibility to do so without reductions.”

Yahoo News cut at least seven roles in its news, entertainment and sport departments and shut down its Gen Z-focused In The Know video brand.

UK-based magazine and digital publisher Future ended the year with some positive news for the job market as it pledged to hire 200 people, 150 of them in editorial roles, over the next two years in an attempt to reverse its revenue decline.

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
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  • Retired
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Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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