By Tyler Durden
August 30, 2022
The New York Times would like you to know that its competitor, the Washington Post, is struggling.
Not only is the Post on track to lose money in 2022 after years of profitability, it’s been unable to boost the number of paying subscribers back to the 3 million it had in 2020 as its business has “stalled.”
The organization is on track to lose money in 2022, after years of profitability, according to two people with knowledge of the company’s finances. The Post now has fewer than the three million paying digital subscribers that it had hailed internally near the end of 2020, according to several people at the organization. Digital ad revenue generated by The Post fell to roughly $70 million during the first half of the year, about 15 percent lower than in the first half of 2021, according to a recent internal financial document reviewed by The New York Times. -NYT
As such, CEO Fred Ryan has floated the possibility with newsroom leaders that the paper may cut 100 positions – around 10% of its newsroom.
The Post denied that they’re looking to reduce head count, and instead said they were “exploring positions that should be repurposed to serve a larger, national and global audience,” whatever that means.
Over 20 people with knowledge of the Post‘s business operations spoke to the NYT – most of whom “would do so only on the condition of anonymity, to protect their relationships inside the organization.”
The NYT notes that – with the exception of themselves and the Wall Street Journal, many news outlets have have suffered declining readership since President Trump left office. You can add ZeroHedge to the list of winners as well, as traffic has grown since Trump left office, while our premium subscriber count has grown steadily since we launched the service.
Rooting out laziness
According to the report, Fred Ryan’s “focus on productivity and office attendance in the newsroom has also been a source of tension.”
He has expressed his belief to members of his leadership team that there were numerous low performers in the newsroom who needed to be managed out. He has monitored how many staff members come into the office, and has weighed new measures to compel people to return to work, including threats of firings, according to several people at The Post.
Many of the publication’s top leaders, including its top editor, Sally Buzbee, are urging patience. They say that the company’s efforts to broaden coverage will eventually attract new readers and lead to financial success. -NYT
Of note, Ryan came to the Post in 2014 from Politico. Before that, the 67-year-old was a former official in the Reagan administration.