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Numerous media outlets lay off, furlough hundreds of staff as economic shutdowns drag on

Condé Nast, the Economist among companies cutting workers

Vice Media
Vice Media
(Mario Tama/Getty)
Updated: May 15, 2020 - 1:43pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


Media companies continued to lay off dozens of employees this week, a sign of the worsening economic crisis as the coronavirus pandemic and state-level lockdowns continue for another month. 

Condé Nast this week announced it was laying off roughly 100 employees and furloughing another 100, citing the COVID-19 outbreak as a direct cause of that decision. On Friday, Vice Media announced that it would be laying off even more employees, letting go 155 workers as part of a cost-reduction plan. 

Vice Media Group CEO Nancy Dubuc said in a leaked memo that the company "went to great lengths to preserve jobs." The decision came after the company instituted pay cuts and a freeze on promotions to counteract the effects of the pandemic. 

The Economist Group, meanwhile, laid off 90 employees, or about 7% of its workforce. The company did so as part of an effort to "restructure and reduce roles in the parts of our business most affected by COVID-19."

Buzzfeed News was also among the companies cutting back on workers in an effort to stay afloat in the worsening economic conditions. The company furloughed 14 positions in the U.K. and Australia this week, with officials stating that the news organization was unlikely to continue local coverage there. 

Nearly 40 million Americans have lost their jobs since the coronavirus began spreading in this country and governors began shutting down their state economies to help halt its spread.