HuffPost Lays Off at Least 15 Staffers Amid Verizon Media Cuts
Parent company Verizon Media Group is laying off 7 percent of its employees, approximately 800 people.
At least 15 HuffPost employees were laid off on Thursday as part of a 7 percent cross-company cut made by parent company Verizon Media Group.
Some 15 laid-off employees came from the organization's unionized staff and "several more" employees outside the unit were also affected, according to two employees with knowledge of the situation.
The cuts were announced by Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan on Wednesday.
"These were difficult decisions, and we will ensure that our colleagues are treated with respect and fairness, and given the support they need. Resources and other career support will be provided to help our team members navigate the transition," he said.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, a HuffPost spokesperson said: "We are deeply committed to quality journalism that reflects what matters most to our diverse audiences across the globe. HuffPost is investing its talents and resources in areas that have high audience engagement, differentiation and are poised for growth at a time when our mission means more than ever."
"Today is a tough day at HuffPost," Writers Guild of America, East said in a statement. "A number of good people lost their jobs as part of company-wide layoffs, despite Verizon taking in nearly $4 billion in government-funded tax breaks last year and a promise that workers will 'share in the company's success.' This is one of the many reasons why staffs working in the media industry continue to join together to fight for workplace protections that include collectively bargained severance packages and fair layoff notifications. Everyone who works in media needs to organize their workplace."
Verizon Media also includes Yahoo and TechCrunch, though a source said that the Yahoo Finance team will not be affected by the cuts.
Several HuffPost employees affected by the cuts have already announced their status on Twitter, including reporters Jason Cherkis, Laura Bassett, Lauren Weber, Eleanor Goldberg, Erin Schumaker and Nick Wing. "I managed to survive the aggregation turbine and so much more here, but couldn't escape layoffs," Wing said.
Deputy opinion editor Chloe Angyal and opinion editor Bryan Maygers were laid off as part of an elimination of the publication's Opinion section. "The beautiful, diverse, inclusive baby we built from scratch is gone," Angyal said on Twitter.
Also impacted were Amanda Duberman, deputy editor of HuffPost Personal, and Kenya Downs, a podcast producer.
The cuts come at a particularly dire moment for digital media, as BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced just one day earlier that more than 200 of his employees will be laid off in a process starting next week.