Commentary

Media Companies Resume Hiring Plans After Steep Cuts

Hiring at media companies, including publishers, is showing signs of rebounding from last year's suspension of activity during the pandemic. However, the news industry also has trimmed its headcount, and more losses may be coming at local newspapers formerly owned by Tribune Publishing.

Media companies by the end of May had announced plans to hire 725 people, a dramatic jump from 12 workers during the comparable five-month period a year earlier, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas data cited by Axios.

Within the sub-segment of newsrooms, outlets including digital, print and broadcast announced 963 job cuts by the end of May. That number is 91% less than the 10,576 job cuts through the same period a year earlier, when a steep drop in ad revenue led many media outlets to reduce headcount.
More newsroom jobs will be lost as Alden Capital offers buyouts to employees of Tribune, which the hedge fund acquired last month. The deal added the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant, among other papers, to its holdings.
The steep drop in job cuts and the pickup in hiring plans offer a mixed view of the outlook. Ad spending is expected to roar back this year, according to revised estimates from media agencies GroupM and Magna.
But much of that growth will be on digital platforms, a market that's getting more crowded amid the growth in social media and ad networks from retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target. Delivery companies such as Instacart and GoPuff also are selling ads aimed at consumers as they shop online.
Aside from pushing for a bigger slice of the digital advertising market, publishers will continue to develop other ways to boost revenue through subscriptions, events, ecommerce and educational programs.
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