The Washington Post will execute a round of layoffs early next year, publisher Fred Ryan told employees at a town hall meeting with staff Wednesday.
The cuts will affect a “single-digit percentage” of the workforce and take place during the first quarter of 2023, Ryan said. The Post, which employs roughly 2,500 people, is seeking to redirect its resources to invest in areas that will provide “high value” to their readers, according to a spokesperson.
“The Washington Post is evolving and transforming to put our business in the best position for future growth. We are planning to direct our resources and invest in coverage, products, and people in service of providing high value to our subscribers and new audiences,” spokesperson Kathy Baird wrote in an emailed statement. “As a result, a number of positions will be eliminated. We anticipate it will be a single digit percentage of our employee base, and we will finalize those plans over the coming weeks.”
Baird went on to specify that the changes will not lead to a net reduction in headcount: “Recently, we have made some of the largest investments in The Post’s history and 2023 will be another year of continued investment.”
In a video of the meeting posted to Twitter, Ryan declined to answer questions about the layoffs from staff, telling them he did not want to turn the town hall into a “grievance session” for the Washington Post’s union.
“We’ll have more information as we move forward,” Ryan told attendees before walking out.
The news comes just weeks after the Post announced it would end the print version of The Washington Post Magazine and cut 10 staff members. That same day, the Post laid off Pulitzer Prize-winning dance critic Sarah L. Kaufman.
As the media industry braces for a potential economic recession, several large organizations including CNN, Gannett, BuzzFeed and Outside Media have announced rounds of layoffs. NPR has said it aims to avoid layoffs but will freeze hiring and implement other cuts.