Atlantic Media, publisher of The Atlantic magazine, said it will cut about 20 percent of its staff in response to the advertising collapse tied to the coronavirus crisis.
Chairman David Bradley, a health care billionaire, revealed the news in a memo to staffers on Thursday.
“This morning, we are informing 68 of our colleagues that we will not have a place for them on The Atlantic’s new course. The contraction affects mainly our events, sales and editorial staffs.”
He said for the remaining 80 percent of the staff, there will be “pay cuts for executives and a general pay freeze for the rest of the year.”
Bradley sold majority control to the Emerson Collective, a non profit controlled by Laurene Powell Jobs, the billionaire widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 2017.
At the time, Bradley said he would stick around as the operating partner “from three to five years” and that within five years it was said at the time that Emerson “will most likely assume full control in five years.”
At the time of the sale, the company that Bradley took over from Mort Zuckerman for $10 million in 1999, was believe to finally be profitable, a major accomplishment for a magazine that started four years before the Civil War and counted Ralph Waldo Emerson as one of its co-founders.
The push to profitability was helped immensely by a thriving events and conference business, which had to cancel many events in response to the coronavirus.