Half of NowThis News Staff Laid Off, Union Says

Rexa Vella

Half of NowThis News Staff Laid Off, Union Says

In another heavy round of job cuts in the media biz, half of the editorial team of digital news outlet NowThis has been laid off, according to the union representing the staffers.

According to WGA East, 26 of the 50 NowThis members repped by the union were laid off Thursday.

An FAQ provided to NowThis staffers about the layoffs, obtained by the New York Times, said the cuts are part of “a broader initiative to realign our resources and structure to ensure a long-term sustainable business in the evolving media landscape.” According to the FAQ, “It was a strategic decision to align our workforce with current business needs and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the company,” and that no additional layoffs are currently planned.

NowThis had been part of Vox Media, which picked up NowThis through the 2021 acquisition of Group Nine Media. In April 2023, Vox Media announced a deal under which NowThis became an independent entity through a deal with the Accelerate Change media network, while Vox Media retained a minority stake in the business.

Reps for NowThis and Accelerate Change did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Former NowThis employees who said on social media that they were let go included senior producer Jasmine Amjad, news and politics producer Emily Sullivan Barger, supervising producer Mike Madden and senior writer PJ Evans.

According to WGA East, at about 7 a,m. ET Thursday, 50% of the NowThis unit was informed they were laid off. “A few members initially became aware at 1 a.m. that they were locked out of their work laptops, email and Slack. Ultimately, people were notified officially via their personal emails,” the union said.

“As dedicated storytellers, many of us are concerned about the direction the company is taking — away from editorial standards, as made especially clear by the gutting of the entire copy team, removal of published content, and major shift in coverage to attract advertisers,” WGA East said in a statement.

“While we are shocked at how many talented, hardworking people the company let go, we are grateful to the current and past unit members who fought hard for a fair union contract, which includes generous severance packages,” the union added.

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