GOSSIP & RUMORS: Business Insider to lay off 8% of staffers
Embattled news site Business Insider said Thursday it is planning to lay off 8% of its workforce, around 40 journalists — the latest publication to shed staff following massive cuts by Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times and Time magazine.
“We have already begun to refocus teams and invest in areas that drive outsize value for our core audience,” Business Insider CEO Barbara Peng said in a memo distributed to employees.
“Unfortunately, this also means we need to scale back in some areas of our organization.”
The company will offer the laid-off employees a minimum of 13 weeks’ pay and medical coverage through May.
The layoffs come as BI — owned by publishing giant Axel Springer — has been threatened with a lawsuit by billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman after it reported that his wife plagiarized academic papers while at MIT.
Ackman cheered the job cuts, calling the publication “a sleazy, unethical, defamer of some of our greatest heros.”
“It is a worthless POS rag run by the lowest of the low in journalism. It is a stain on humanity,” Ackman wrote on X, vowing that he will soon “share with the world their disgusting and illegal conduct.”
The Post has sought comment from Business Insider.
Axel Springer acquired a majority stake in Insider in 2015 and retired the “Business Insider” name in 2021 as it looked to expand coverage.
However, the company reversed the move when co-founder Henry Blodget stepped down as the CEO of the publication last November.
Media companies have been under pressure over the past year as advertisers pull back on spending due to still-high borrowing costs.
Sports Illustrated’s parent company announced last Friday that the venerable sports journalism magazine would be laying off most of its staff.
Earlier this week, the union representing employees at the LA Times said company management was planning to lay off 94 journalists, or 20% of its newsroom.
The layoffs represent about a fourth of the union’s membership, but are far lower than the number of Guild layoffs initially expected last week, said Matt Pearce, an LA Times reporter who heads the union representing the journalists.
The layoffs come amid projections for another year of heavy losses for the newspaper, according to the LA Times report by James, which quoted owner Patrick Soon-Shiong as saying the paper loses $30 million to $40 million annually.
Time laid off around 30 journalists — or 15% of its union-represented editorial staff — on Tuesday.
Jessica Sibley, the magazine’s chief executive, wrote in a memo to staffers that the decision “was not made lightly.”
She said the job cuts were part of a “series of decisions to structure our company for long-term sustainability and growth.”
Condé Nast, the media giant whose properties include Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair, announced it would be laying off around 5% of its staff.
The company also announced that it would be folding its music outlet Pitchfork into GQ, resulting in layoffs.