Media industry hit by holiday layoffs as outlets downsize amid advertising volatility. Journalism job cuts rise 48%.

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The media industry has been rocked this holiday season by news of newsroom layoffs as outlets downsize to combat volatility in advertising, after an already-brutal year of job cuts.

In the last month alone, Condé Nast, G/O Media, Vice Media and Vox Media have all cut staff, most of whom already had layoffs earlier this year. (Vice filed for bankruptcy in June.)

Broadcast, print and digital outlets collectively saw 2,681 journalism job cuts in 2023, up 48% from 1,808 in 2022 and 77% from 1,511 in 2021, according to a report from employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

With a collapsing advertising-revenue model and more media companies experimenting with artificial intelligence to create content, the outlook for journalism is dimming, media analysts told TheWrap. The decline underscores the need for the public and even governments to fund news gathering if it is to survive in its current form and avoid widespread “news deserts,” they said.

“All available evidence suggests that the commercial future for journalism is especially dire,” Victor Pickard, a professor of media policy and political economy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, told TheWrap. “We cannot simply let the market drive local journalism into the ground. I expect to see more legislative efforts, especially at state government levels, aimed at shoring up and even expanding local journalism.”

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