Newsweek Announces Newsroom Layoffs, 3 Executive Promotions (Updated)
Newsweek will lay off some of its editorial staff on Thursday, hours after it announced the promotion of three top editors.
In a memo to the staff, editor Tina Brown said the magazine planned to cut positions from the masthead as it restructures itself and discontinues its eight-decade-old print edition at the end of the year. Newsweek's last print edition will be dated Dec. 31.
"The sad moment has arrived when we must go forth with the editorial staff reductions that we discussed in person with all of you several weeks ago," Brown wrote in the memo, first obtained by the New York Observer. "Much of this has already happened on the business side, and today we will be letting staff on the editorial side know where we will be eliminating positions. This is a very difficult day, and one that we approach with enormous regret."
In an earlier email on Thursday, Brown announced three promotions, meant to "strengthen our digital future." Executive editor Justine Rosenthal was named editorial director of the Newsweek Daily Beast Company; Newsweek International's top editor Tunku Varadarajan's title changed to editor of Newsweek Global and Newsweek.com editor Deidre Depke was tapped as editor of the Daily Beast, overseeing both it and Newsweek's sites.
Pink-slipped staffers will stay on until at least the end of the calendar year, Brown said.
"No one will be asked to leave before Dec. 31 (and many will stay at least into mid-January)," Brown wrote. "We are working to ensure that the process is handled as sensitively as possible."
Names of departing staffers were slow to trickle out on Thursday afternoon.
But some top names at the magazine have left recently of their own accord.
Writer Peter J. Boyer took a job at Fox News. Design director Lindsay Ballant, who filled in for Dirk Barnett when he left for the New Republic, landed a fellowship at Tech President.
Capital New York's Joe Pompeo reported that Newsweek's iPad editor, Melissa Lafsky, is leaving for a startup and commentary editor Damon Linker has resigned to take a teaching job at the University of Pennsylvania.
Updated at 7 p.m. ET with details of departing staffers.