Newsroom employment continues to slump. From 2018 through June, more than 28,000 employees at US newspapers have been laid off.
Since the start of 2018, newsrooms have had a challenging time, resulting in industry-wide consolidation. The push to digital has been a significant contributor to this trend. As of recent, the coronavirus pandemic has triggered a nasty recession, collapsing ad revenue for media firms.
Newsroom job cuts this year is shaping up to be the worst on record, could even surpass the dark of 2008/09, wrote outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
The new report, titled "Newsrooms Suffer Worst Layoffs Through June on Record," reveals newsroom job cuts totaled 11,027 through June, up 169.8% from the 4,087 cuts announced in 1H19.
"Newsrooms have had a rough few years, as revenues declined and consolidation in the industry decimated news teams. Coupled with a hostile environment for many journalists, news has become an increasingly difficult career path," said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
A Challenger survey during the pandemic of newsrooms shows 23.3% of media firms furloughed workers. About a third of respondents said they slashed pay, and over half were able to avoid layoffs.
A couple of years of consolidation, coupled with the virus-induced recession, newsrooms are set to record the largest ever round of job cuts on record.
Not too long ago, Quartz fired half of its journalist, blamed job cuts on the virus that dramatically crushed its finances.
Global advertisement spending is set to collapse this year, further pressuring newsrooms that will create a perfect storm of layoffs.