News & Politics

Layoffs, Buyouts Hit National Geographic

National Geographic has begun offering staff buyouts and laying off some people. A statement from the organization says the “National Geographic Society and the National Geographic Channels are in the process of reorganizing” in anticipation of closing their deal with 21st Century Fox, “which is expected to occur in mid-November.”

Ann Day says the organizations “don’t have a target” number of reductions. About 9 percent of the 2,000 staffers will have “involuntary separations,” and “If you are a certain age with a certain number of years of service, you can volunteer to take a package,” Day says. Many of the cuts, the society says in a statement, will be to “shared services.”

Earlier Tuesday, Jim Romenesko shared a memo from CEO Gary Knell to employees that says they should “make every effort to be available tomorrow, November 3rd, either in your regular work location, and/or by phone.”

News Photographer Editor Donald R. Winslow reported “significant layoffs” earlier Tuesday.

The changes come as NatGeo and 21st Century Fox complete what both parties insist on calling an expanded partnership, and not a purchase, which they announced in September. Fox told Washingtonian then it had no plans to interfere with NatGeo’s editorial content.

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.