The iconic National Geographic has laid off 19 editorial staffers, the last of its staff writers, and will now be written entirely by freelancers and editors, news reports state.
Individual writers tweeted that they were among those leaving. “National Geographic is laying off its staff writers, including me,” Doug Main tweeted.
The magazine, long known for its lavish photography and production values, has also cut back on its photo spending, the Washington Post reports. And its small audio department is being eliminated.
In addition, the publication will no longer be sold on newsstands, a dramatic proof of the decline of print.
The affected personnel were notified in April that the cutbacks were coming, the Post writes.
However, one report states that some writers would remain on staff.
The National Geographic issued a statement saying it would still be able to produce quality journalism.
“Staffing changes will not change our ability to do this work, but rather give us more flexibility to tell different stories and meet our audiences where they are across our many platforms,” a spokesperson told one media outlet, the Guardian reported. “Any insinuation that the recent changes will negatively impact the magazine, or the quality of our storytelling, is simply incorrect.”
The Post reports that the cutback is the latest in a series by owner Walt Disney Co.