Big Layoffs At Hearst, Top Digital Teams Wiped Out

Niki Cruz - Author

Aug. 20 2013, Updated 9:19 a.m. ET

By now it’s not a surprise that the internet has either helped or hurt the journalism industry. Which way that pendulum swings depends on who you ask in the industry. If you’re asking an employee from Hearst corp, it will probably be the latter.

Huge news came out today as it was revealed to Mashable that top Digital Editors at Hearst were let go from the company. According to Mashable, sources close to the digital division told the site about Hearst’s plans.

One look at Twitter, and the news of the layoffs are immediately confirmed. The Editor of, Amina Akhtar, and the Digital Director of Cosmopolitan, Abby Gardner, both received pink slips today. Akhtar took to Twitter to address the situation:

“What a Tuesday! Officially looking for work if you know of anything. #layoffs.”

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This comes as a peculiar time seeing as New York Fashion Week will be starting up in two weeks. It’s a week that ensures the biggest and craziest business month for high-end fashion magazines such as Cosmo and ELLE.

According to Mashable’s source, the firing won’t stop with just Akhtar and Gardner. Additional firings are said to be done over the next couple of weeks, if not today.

The confirmation about Gardner comes from her e-mail auto-response, which notifies people that she’s no longer working at Cosmopolitan.

Online Features Editor of Marie Claire, Suzannah Ramsdale, took to Twitter to express her confusion over the firings:

David Carey, the President of Hearst Magazines wrote on the corporation’s site:

“Hearst is now seen as leading the industry–the future of magazines will happen here first. We’re at the shore of a media sea change that is bringing growth, inventiveness and an entrepreneurial drive to every aspect of publishing.”

Hearst Corporation is one of the largest media companies in the United States and United Kingdom. The corporation publishes 20 titles, among them are Esquire, ELLE, O, Marie Claire, Seventeen, and Cosmopolitan.

In brighter times, Hearst was awarded three National Magazine Awards and topped the Advertising Age’s A-List in 2012.


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