2023 Media Layoffs: Opera News Shutting Down U.S. Publication

Opera News is shutting down its U.S.-based publication, the Metropolitan Opera Guild announced Tuesday, adding to layoffs at CoinDesk, Entertainment Tonight and Hearst Magazines in the last month, as a brutal series of closures and job losses rock the media industry in 2023.

August 15The Metropolitan Opera Guild announced it would end the publication of Opera News—first published in 1936—in November following “several years of declining economic fortunes,” while the magazine will be incorporated as a section in the U.K.-based Opera magazine.

August 14Crypto-focused news outlet CoinDesk announced in a company memo that it would cut 18 people from its editorial staff, according to Axios.

July 27Entertainment Tonight laid off less than 10% of its staff—amounting to fewer than 20 employees—as part of a “small restructuring of staff,” according to Variety, including the program’s head of graphics and post-production supervisor, in addition to some producers and digital writers.

July 20Hearst Magazines cut 41 employees across its publications—which include Cosmopolitan, Elle and Seventeen, among others—a company spokesperson confirmed to Forbes, who said the company is “making strategic decisions that position the business for long-term growth.”

June 29ESPN cut 20 on-camera positions—including longtime commentator Jeff Van Gundy—and canceled a morning radio show hosted by Max Kellerman, Keyshawn Johnson and Jay Williams, according to the Washington Post, as Disney continues a wave of layoffs announced earlier this year.

June 27National Geographic laid off its staff writers, according to senior writers Craig Welch and Doug Main, who said the staff was notified about the layoffs “a while ago.”

June 26The Italian fashion magazine Grazia shut down its U.S. publication, according to Puck, after CEO Dylan Howard decided to not renew its publishing license with Pantheon Media.

June 24At least three people were laid off from The Hollywood Reporter, according to TheWrap.

June 22Bloomberg cut about 10 people from its national news desk, radio and television staff, according to Insider.

June 22Cheddar News—founded by former BuzzFeed president Jon Steinberg in 2016—laid off about 12 employees, according to Insider, including longtime anchors Chloe Aiello and Baker Machado, after the company said it, “like many other media companies,” suffered from a “challenging advertising environment.”

June 20Warner Bros. Discovery is laying off about 100 employees from its Discovery and Turner cable networks, according to Variety, as the company faces financial pressure amid a transition from cable to streaming and a heavy debt burden from last year’s merger of Discovery and AT&T-owned Warner Media.

June 14Bell Canada Enterprises announced it would eliminate 1,300 positions—an estimated 3% of its workforce—and close or sell nine radio stations, according to The Canadian Press, after executive vice president Robert Malcolmson said the company could not afford its media brands 0perating independently of one another.

June 13Southern California Public Radio announced it would cut 21 of the company’s 175 positions, which CEO Herb Scannell attributed to a decline in studio advertising—Scannell said the nonprofit will focus more on online news.

June 12Dot.LA, a company that covers Los Angeles-based startups, informed employees in a staff memo it would cut all seven members of its editorial staff in an effort to shift toward creating a newsletter focused on “profiling and highlighting” Los Angeles tech companies.

June 12The Athletic, which the New York Times acquired last year for $550 million, informed employees in a staff memo the U.S. sports news giant plans to cut 20 positions (roughly 4% of its workforce), while another 20 reporters will be moved to new beats.

June 9Morning Consult, a polling and data reporting company, announced it would close its newsroom while cutting seven of its editorial staff, according to a company spokesperson, as the company moves forward with “unifying and scaling our analyst team.”

June 7The Los Angeles Times announced it would be cutting 74 positions in its newsroom, including editors on its news and copy desks in addition to both full-time and temporary workers, because of the “economic climate and the unique challenges of our industry.”

June 6Bustle Digital Group laid off 21 employees, an estimated 5% of its workforce, after the company—which owns lifestyle brands Nylon, Bustle and Inverse, among others—struggled with advertising, according to Adweek.

June 5Spotify Vice President Sahar Elhabashi announced the company would cut 200 employees—2% of its workforce—as it moves forward with a plan to combine podcast units Gimlet Media and Parcast, following about 600 reported layoffs earlier this year.

May 19Fox News dissolved its investigative unit amid an effort to cut costs following the network’s $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, network employees told Rolling Stone (though a network source denied a connection between the layoffs and the settlement) and the New York Daily News reported three staffers were laid off, while four others were moved to other positions.

May 9MTV News was shut down as Paramount Media Networks—a division of Paramount Global—announced it would cut 25% of its staff because of “pressure from broader headwinds like many of our peers,” according to a company memo obtained by Variety.

April 27Vice Media will lay off more than 100 of its roughly 1,500 employees and shut down its Vice World News brand, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal, following years of financial challenges for the once-ascendant media company.

April 24ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro announced in a memo the sports news network would begin cutting an unspecified number of employees, though the layoffs will primarily affect management positions, according to the Sports Business Journal, including communications vice president Mike Soltys and Russell Wolff, who oversaw the ESPN+ streaming platform.

April 20Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti told Buzzfeed News staff the online publication would be shut down, according to a memo obtained by the New York Times, as the company shifts toward “concentrating our news efforts” on HuffPost, an outlet the company notes is “profitable.”

April 20Insider Inc.—formerly known as Business Insider—announced it would begin cutting an estimated 10% of its staff in an effort to “keep our company healthy and competitive,” an Insider spokesperson told Forbes.

March 30Disney’s broadcast news division announced it was laying 50 people at ABC News, following an earlier announcement by CEO Bob Iger indicating the company would continue an ongoing round of layoffs.

March 29Salem Media Group, a Texas-based Christian radio broadcaster, announced it would lay off about 3% of its 1,436 employees, according to RadioInsight.

March 27The Texas Observer’s staff of 17, who reportedly heard about the impending layoffs from reporters at the Texas Tribune, asked the Texas Democracy Foundation’s board to reconsider the decision to close the paper and set up an emergency GoFundMe page in a last ditch effort to find funding (the fundraising effort reversed the layoff plan for the time being).

March 23NPR canceled four podcasts—Invisibilia, Louder Than a Riot, Rough Translation and Everyone and Their Mom—and bean laying off 100 employees as part of a push to reduce a reported budget deficit of $30 million.

March 21NPR affiliate New England Public Media announced it will lay off 17 employees—20% of its staff—by March 31 after facing “serious financial headwinds during the last three years,” New England Public Media management tells Boston public radio.

March 19Sea Coast Media and Gannett, a media conglomerate with hundreds of papers and Sea Coast Media’s parent company, laid off 34 people and closed a printing press in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as part of Gannet’s efforts to reduce the number of operating presses and prioritize digital platforms.

February 26Three Alabama newspapers—The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and the Press-Register—laid off 100 people following a prolonged decrease in print paper circulation, Alabama Media Group President Tom Bates told NPR.

February 17New York public radio station WNYC canceled radio show The Takeaway after 15 years on air after the show reportedly became too expensive to produce amid a declining audience—a reported 12, including host Melissa Harris-Perry, will lose their jobs.

February 9News Corp, which owns the Wall Street Journal and HarperCollins publishers, among others, expects to lay off 1,250 people across all businesses by the end of 2023, Chief Executive Robert Thomson reportedly told investors following compounding declines in profit.

January 24The Washington Post stops publishing its video game and kids sections, laying off 20 people a little over a month after publisher Fred Ryan foreshadowed layoffs in 2023—executive editor Sally Buzbee reportedly told employees the layoffs were geared toward staying competitive and no more are scheduled.

January 23The marketing trade publication Adweek laid off 14 people, according to employees.

January 21Vox Media, which owns The Verge, SB Nation and New York Magazine, laid off 133 people—7% of the media conglomerate’s staff—in anticipation of a declining economy, chief executive Jim Bankoff reportedly tells staff.

January 19Entertainment company and fan platform Fandom laid off less than 50 people at affiliated GameSpot, Giant Bomb, Metacritic and TV Guide, Variety reports, mere months after Fandom acquired the four outlets, among others, for $55 million.

January 13The Medford, Oregon-based Mail Tribune shut down their digital publication after hiring difficulties and declining advertising sales, according to publisher and chief executive Steven Saslow—an undisclosed number of people were laid off and severance packages depend on signing a non-disclosure agreement, the Oregonian reports.

January 12NBC News and MSNBC laid off 75 employees as part of a broader corporate reorganization.

January 4Gannett closed a printing press in Greece, New York, as part of an increased focus on online journalism, resulting in the layoffs of 108 people.

January 4Gannett laid off 50 employees at an Indiana printing press to “adapt to industry conditions,” a spokesperson told the Indiana Star—the press remains open and the layoffs aren’t expected to affect newspaper employees.

Nate Silver, founder of Disney-owned FiveThirtyEight, tweeted on April 25 that Disney’s layoffs had “substantially impacted” the data-focused news site, suggesting his contract is up soon and he expects to “be leaving at the end of it.” Silver—who is best-known for his site’s election predictions—sold FiveThirtyEight to Disney subsidiary ESPN in 2013, after previously working at the New York Times.

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