- June layoffs at Warner Bros. Discovery and The Athletic added to thousands of cuts across media and entertainment.
- An advertising pull-back tied to the declining economic outlook has led to record media job cuts.
- From tech disruptors like Netflix to legacy companies like Disney, a range of players are impacted.
In the past year, the media and tech jobs market has gone from hot to not. HR managers have gone from figuring out ways to lure employees to mass firings amid a general pull-back of ads tied to the declining economic outlook.
The media industry has cut at least 17,436 in 2023 through May, the highest year-to-date amount on record and surpassing the 2020 pandemic job cuts of 16,750 through May, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. In news alone, 1,972 jobs were cut through May this year, surpassing the 1,808 announced in all of 2022.
While media and entertainment layoffs are dwarfed by the tens of thousands in jobs lost at big tech companies from Meta to Google, a wide range of workers have been impacted.
Cuts have roiled entertainment giants like Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery that are racing to make their streaming businesses profitable as well as digital media companies such as BuzzFeed and Vice Media that are trying to bolster their valuations.
Also affected were legacy journalism stalwarts like The Washington Post and USA Today owner Gannett, which laid off 400 staff and axed a further 400 positions in early December. The Los Angeles Times in June laid off 73 people from its newsroom, and the Athletic, which was acquired by the New York Times in 2022, cut 20 journalists. The Wall Street Journal parent News Corp. previously said it would lay off 5%, or around 1,000, this calendar year.
Tech giant Amazon cut about 100 people from its Amazon Studios and Prime Video teams — a tiny fraction of the company’s 27,000 layoffs overall in 2023 but still a blow to its entertainment workers — and Disney in May completed the third and final round of 7,000 job cuts it had announced in February, part of a push for $5.5 billion in cost savings.
Adding to the strain on the entertainment industry labor force, Hollywood writers went on strike in May for the first time in 15 years to protest pay and other concerns.
This list was originally published in December and has been updated. Claire Atkinson contributed to earlier versions. Here are 39 media and entertainment companies that have laid off staff as of June 2023:
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