Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Forbes Starts a Second Round of Layoffs; Who Else Will Join It?


Forbes Media has begun a new round of layoffs and will let go of more than 50 people on its editorial and business teams, I’m told. The cuts are roughly proportional to the ones the business publication made in November and January when it consolidated its Web and magazine operations.

During the last round of cuts, Forbes attributed at least some of the layoffs to the integration of the two staffs. This time around, there can’t be any reason beyond the fact that the miserable economy has been especially rough on magazines in general and business titles specifically.

I’ve asked Forbes officials for details and will update if I get any. (Disclosure: I’m a former Forbes employee.) UPDATE: The layoffs took two days, but appear to be over. Employees who kept their jobs will see pay cuts in the form of mandatory unpaid furloughs, and higher-paid employees will get additional pay cuts.

The question for the rest of the industry: How many other publishers will have to make a second round of cuts themselves? Condé Nast CEO Chuck Townsend has already warned his troops about cost cuts that will likely include layoffs; earlier this month Rodale shuttered its Best Life title. Both publishers also made cuts last fall.

Unheard from so far: Time Warner’s (TWX) Time Inc., which cut about 600 positions last fall. Those layoffs–roughly six percent of the publisher’s payroll–were larger than anything Time had experienced before. So far that seems to have been enough to weather the storm.