In what was the second layoff round in the last nine months, National Geographic — the science and natural world magazine that is about 135 years old — did away with what was left of its team of writers. Its audio division has also wound up.
The magazine has been reducing its team in bits for a long time now. Its ownership has also changed of late.
The magazine which had subscribers exceeding 12 million at one time, witnessed a fall in subscription in recent years. Its number of subscribers had dipped to less than 1.8 million last year, that is, 2022.
The writers were already informed of the layoffs in April this year. This round has also affected many of the contractual photographers.
The magazine intends to rely primarily on freelance writers in the future.
However, the magazine maintains that these layoffs will not affect the quality of its work in any way.
The tweets by various staff writers who are leaving clearly indicate how much they cherish their time at the magazine and the experiences gained therein as part of the editorial team.
In 2015, in a $725 million deal, 21st Century Fox had acquired 73 per cent controlling interest in the magazine. The same year, National Geographic Society, the 127-year old non-profit specialised media company, with presence in print, television and digital media, had grabbed headlines when it announced that it would lay off nine per cent of its workforce.
Disney later became the owner of the iconic yellow-bordered magazine when it bought over 21st Century Fox in a $52 billion deal in 2019.