National Geographic is axing almost 10% of its 2,000 staff, just months after Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox took control of the 127-year-old organisation.
Around 180 staff – about 9% of the total workforce – will be affected by the cuts, which followed Fox paying US$725 million to take majority control of a new venture, National Geographic Partners, which houses both National Geographic Channels and Nat Geo Society.
Though most of those affected are thought to be in the magazine fact-checking teams, some programming executives will likely be let go.
A memo on Monday from Nat Geo Society president and CEO Gary Knell instructed staff to check their emails yesterday for news on their employment status.
“After very careful and serious consideration, we are ready to communicate how our restructuring and transformation will affect each employee at National Geographic,” his email read. “To that end, please make every effort to be available tomorrow, November 3rd, either in your regular work location, and/or by phone.”
Some Nat Geo staffers had taken to Twitter to announce their departures at press time.
— Donald R. Winslow (@donaldrwinslow) November 3, 2015
Experienced National Geographic Photo Editor looking for employment. Fox merger elim many today. Will miss my amazing colleagues!
— Sherry L. Brukbacher (@SBrukbacher) November 3, 2015