Study: Newsrooms Lost Over 16,000 Jobs In 2020

2020 was a terrible year for journalism.

Newsroom job cuts totaled 16,160 last year, which include print, digital and broadcast.

That’s 200% higher than 2019, when 5,389 jobs were lost, according to a new study from the global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The losses in 2018 and 2017 were 11,878 and 2,362, respectively. In the past 12 years, the highest newsroom losses came in 2008, with 14,265.

The Wrap first reported the news.

Many major news organizations announced layoffs in 2020, including ABC News, The New York Times, Vox Media, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, Vice Media, the New York Post and today, the Tampa Bay Times.



The news industry has been struggling for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic was an added blow, with big losses in ad spend and live-events revenue.

The Challenger study included news in the media sector, which also counts film and TV production and advertising. The total media sector reported 30,711 layoffs in 2020.

There have also been radical cuts in newspapers’ print editions. For example, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette only prints Thursday, Friday and Sunday editions.

Newspapers have also had job losses outside newsrooms. In October, The Philadelphia Inquirer announced it was selling its printing plant, an economic move that will cost an estimated 500 staffers their jobs.

Separately, News Break, a local news app, closed a $115 million round in Series C funding led by Francisco Partners, an investment firm teams with tech businesses. News Break has previously raised more than $36 million from investors, including IDG Capital. Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang is an advisor. Harry Shum, former executive vice president of AI and research at Microsoft, is Chairman of the Board.

The app covers the U.S. with a variety of stories that revolve around three themes: Live Safely, Live Vibrantly and Be Connected. It plans to create a multimillion-dollar fund to support eligible content creators so readers feel connected to their respective communities. The company’s long-term goal is to be the world’s largest intelligent local information platform.

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