About a half-dozen staffers at Newsweek have been laid off in a corporate restructuring, according to an employee at the magazine.

"Newsweek staffers affected by the restructuring have been notified," managing editor Ken Li said in a terse memo to staffers obtained by Poynter. "I want to thank them for their contribution in making Newsweek a beacon for hardcore journalism."

News of the layoffs was reported first by Politico.

Newsweek is owned by IBT Media, which also owns International Business Times and a series of loosely affiliated websites. On Thursday, the company laid off at least 20 journalists and announced it was spinning off Newsweek into a separate operational unit.

Recode reported Thursday that the layoffs could be an attempt to get the magazine's balance sheet into shape for a possible sale.

Newsweek was owned by The Washington Post company until 2010, when it was sold to philanthropist Sidney Harman for $1. Later that year, the company merged with The IAC-owned Daily Beast; the magazine was subsequently sold to IBT Media in 2013.