As some may know, the chief executive of Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post led a meeting last month in which he told an upset group of staff members that a significant percentage of them would soon no longer be working at the outlet.
Fred Ryan, the company’s CEO and publisher, said the firings would occur during the first quarter of 2023.
Recordings of exchanges between Ryan and agitated staff were posted to Twitter by the Wahington Post Guild.
Today, we came into WaPo’s so-called town hall with questions about recent layoffs and the future of the company.
Our publisher dropped a bombshell on us by announcing more layoffs and then walking out, refusing to answer any of our questions. pic.twitter.com/ajNZsZKOBr
— Washington Post Guild (@PostGuild) December 14, 2022
Now, a letter has been sent out informing employees of the Post that 20 newsroom positions will soon be cut and that 30 previously open positions will no longer be filled.
More details on @washingtonpost layoffs, per memo from Executive Editor Sally Buzbee:
— 20 newsroom positions eliminated
— 30 open positions will not be filled
— WaPo is sunsetting Launcher, its online gaming vertical, and KidsPost, per two sources familiar
— Sara Fischer (@sarafischer) January 24, 2023
Washington Post reporter Katie Mettler posted her grievances about the firings online. “The Washington Post has started laying off my friends and colleagues. It’s wrong and unnecessary and did not need to happen,” she began. “I’m sad and mad and so disappointed in this institution that I care about so deeply. We’re better than this.”
Mettler additionally changed her Twitter profile banner to one that calls for a “diverse, inclusive, and fair Washington Post.”
PJ Media journalist Megan Fox appeared to make fun of Mettler for the display, questioning why she does not instead leave the company out of protest.
“Why doesn’t @kemettler resign in protest?” Fox asked. “Quit Katie! That’ll show ’em! If your employer is so unfair, why do you want to keep working for them?”
— Megan Fox (@MeganFoxWriter) January 24, 2023
Fox referred to Mettler’s posted banner as a “hilarious virtue signal.”
Washington Post additionally decided to close Launcher, a program intended to create what IGN described as “excellent reporting in games media.”
A user reacted to the news, writing, “First time I heard about it.”
First time I heard about it
— Life without sense (@Myhairhasamindo) January 24, 2023
This closing resulted in the firing of video games journalist Shannon Liao, a reporter who has an LGBT flag and “she/her” pronouns posted in her Twitter bio, as well as a few others.
Today The Washington Post decided to lay off five members of the Launcher team and sunset the site. I’m heartbroken to lose @LeaderGrev, @JhaanElker, @pithyalyse, @Shannon_Liao and @Vahn16 to The Post's layoffs. 🧵
— Mike Hume (@MikeHumePost) January 24, 2023