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Washington Post publisher and CEO Fred Ryan informed staffers of looming layoffs to come in the first quarter of 2023 during a town hall on Wednesday.
However, the meeting did not go as planned. Ryan’s town hall quickly turned chaotic when he refused to take questions from concerned staffers.
“We’re not going to turn the town hall into a grievance session,” Ryan told employees.
He blamed the cuts on worsening economic conditions, a reason that did not satisfy staffers.
“Fred, you talked about positions getting eliminated. What are you going to do to protect people’s jobs? Are they going to be treated like the magazine staffers were?” one worker said in the video.
“We’ll have more information as we move forward. Thank you very much,” Ryan responded, before storming off the stage.
Town hall chaos
Washington Post Guild leadership provided Fox News Digital with a statement on Ryan’s behavior Thursday afternoon. Members of the Washington Post Guild called his actions “unacceptable.”
“[We] of the Washington Post Guild are outraged at the unceremonious announcement of layoffs at today’s so-called town hall led by our publisher, Fred Ryan. After informing staffers that the company could eliminate up to 9 percent of positions companywide in the first quarter of next year, Ryan refused to take questions from his employees and walked out of the room. This behavior is unacceptable from any leader, but especially the leader of a news organization whose core values include transparency and accountability,” the Guild said.Via Fox News.
While the entire corporate press continues to wane in credibility and influence, perhaps no formerly prestigious outlet has declined to the degree of The Washington Post.
A September report from the New York Times — another beauty — revealed that digital ad revenue at The Post fell to around $70 million during the first half of the year. That’s a 15% decline from the first half of 2021.
The Post has fewer than three million digital subscribers and is on pace to lose money in 2022, after years of profitability.
The paper is neither informative nor profitable.
“Fred Ryan, the chief executive and publisher, in recent weeks has floated with newsroom leaders the possibility of cutting 100 positions, according to several people with knowledge of the discussions. The cuts, if they happen, could come through hiring freezes for open jobs or other ways. The newsroom now has about 1,000 people, ” said the same Times report.
Democracy Dies in Dumbness
The Washington Post has grown increasingly mockable. In addition to employing Taylor Lorenz — a professional smear merchant with not much talent — headlines at the paper often read like articles from the Babylon Bee.
Except, Jeff Bezos’ new outlet isn’t trying to be funny. At least we don’t think.
Some recent highlights include declaring white male shark experts racist against sea creatures, and warning that Elon Musk’s misinformation policy could actually kill uninformed Americans. Our girl Taylor posted the latter.
Like CNN, The Post has struggled to find a purpose post-Donald Trump. Readership at The Post declined as Trump left the White House, The Times notes.
The outlet has found no sufficient replacement for its coverage of the Trump-Russia hoax. There’s no substitute for such a conspiracy.
As a result, Fred Ryan is storming off stage and firing staffers.