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Disney lays off all National Geographic staff writers

Copies of National Geographic magazine in print. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Copies of National Geographic magazine in print. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The Walt Disney Company this week issued pink slips to the entire on-staff writing team at science and culture magazine National Geographic, according to multiple former employees who were affected by the layoffs.

The magazine will continue to publish a print edition for subscribers, but will do so while relying on freelance staff for the foreseeable future, a spokesperson said. Around 20 workers were impacted by the layoffs.

“Staffing changes will not change our ability to do this work, but rather give us more flexibility to tell different stories and meet our audiences where they are across our many platforms,” the spokesperson affirmed. “Any insinuation that the recent changes will negatively impact the magazine, or the quality of our storytelling, is simply incorrect.”

Some laid off workers said notices were issued during Disney’s final round of layoffs earlier this month. Disney has been issuing pink slips in waves since the start of the year as it sought to cut costs and grow profits in its key business sectors of film, television, streaming and theme parks.

Disney acquired a controlling interest in National Geographic magazine four years ago, after purchasing various media-related assets from 21st Century Fox. In addition to the magazine, Disney operates the National Geographic Channel.

As of 2022, National Geographic Magazine had around 1.7 million paid subscribers.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).