Hearst Magazines, a renowned publisher with titles such as Cosmopolitan, Elle, Seventeen, Harper's Bazaar, and more under its umbrella, recently announced a significant workforce reduction. The company cited "company restructuring" as the reason for the layoff of 41 union staffers, which affected various editorial positions, including skilled writers, editors, and producers.
In a statement released by the Hearst Magazines Media Union, they expressed their disappointment and anger over the decision.
"We are losing talented people whose creativity and institutional knowledge is immeasurable. These are immensely skilled writers, editors and producers who collectively have decades of experience in journalism,” the union tweeted.
Among the notable changes resulting from the layoffs was the shift in leadership at Seventeen, with current Editor-in-Chief Kristin Koch stepping down from her role in September. The magazine will now be overseen by Jessica Giles, the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan.
A spokesperson for Hearst Magazines defended the move, stating that the company remains committed to producing top-quality content across all platforms. The layoffs were described as strategic decisions aimed at positioning the business for long-term growth. However, the Hearst Magazines Media Union expressed discontent saying, “We are disappointed and angry that Hearst unilaterally chose to lay off our members instead of coming to the table to explore alternative options.”
The layoffs have caused a wave of reactions on social media, with employees from Hearst-owned magazines expressing their solidarity with their laid-off colleagues. The media industry, like many others, has faced various challenges and restructuring efforts, leading to painful staff reductions over time.
This recent workforce reduction follows a series of changes within Hearst Magazines, including previous reorganizations of the advertising business and voluntary buyouts offered to sales and marketing departments in the past, which resulted in a workforce reduction of around 5 percent.
As the media landscape continues to evolve, companies like Hearst Magazines are making strategic moves to adapt and grow in an ever-changing industry. However, the impact on employees and the wider journalism community remains a significant concern.