Only a couple of months after returning to his perch as the CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger made an incredibly difficult decision. Due to Disney’s precarious financial status, Iger determined that the company would need to terminate approximately 7,000 positions in order to help it stay afloat and recoop a massive $5.5 billion in company cost savings. The firing “bloodbath” would take place in three waves.
On March 27, the first wave began. At the beginning of June, it was reported that the mass layoffs from the Walt Disney Company had ended. Unfortunately for employees of National Geographic, we now know that that is no longer the case.
National Geographic Faces a Difficult Reality
National Geographic, a publication known for its stunning photography and in-depth reporting on global issues, has been a staple in American households for decades. With its headquarters in Washington, D.C., the magazine has long been a symbol of excellence and expertise in the field of science, nature, and exploration.
It has been reported that 19 editorial staff writers were notified back in April that their positions would be getting cut. According to a report by The Washington Post, National Geographic fired its remaining staff writers as part of a larger restructuring effort.
Staff Writer No Longer Needed
Moving forward, the magazine with use freelance writers. This decision has been met with lots of criticism from the public. However, National Geographic insists that this change is a positive redirection. A company statement was released on the matter, saying;
“National Geographic will continue to publish a monthly magazine that is dedicated to exceptional multi-platform storytelling with cultural impact. 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. Any insinuation that the recent changes will negatively impact the magazine, or the quality of our storytelling, is simply incorrect.”
Still, numerous staff writers have shared their sadness over the decision on Twitter. Craig Welch, a terminated senior writer, shared this message;
My new National Geographic just arrived, which includes my latest feature—my 16th, and my last as a senior writer.
NatGeo is laying off all of its staff writers.
I’ve been so lucky. I got to work w/incredible journalists and tell important, global stories. It’s been an honor. pic.twitter.com/VOt6KydD5Z
— Craig Welch (@CraigAWelch) June 28, 2023
As a writer myself, it is always tragic to learn about terminations in this field. Hopefully, these incredible journalists will be able to find a new host to share their important global stories.