In recent developments, the National Geographic Society announced that it will be laying off 9% of its 2000 strong workforce. The decision was made as part of its recent sale deal with Twenty-First Century Fox Inc(NASDAQ:FOXA).
M.J. Jacobsen, Spokeswoman for the National Geographic Society, had stated in a mail that employees will be informed about their respective employment statuses once the deal is finalized. Some of the employees have already been offered buyouts.
The National Geographic Society, which is more than a century old, had agreed to a $725 million deal with the media giant, 21st Century Fox in September this year. As part of the deal, Fox will receive a majority stake in the National Geographic Magazine, followed by the NGC TV Channel and other media properties.
Fox to take complete control
The deal will result in Fox enjoying a 73% stake in the National Geographic Partners Venture.
On Tuesday, November 3rd, employees were informed by the National Geographic Society about the coming layoffs. The news of the layoffs has come more than a month after the agreement.
Gary Knell, CEO, sent a mail to the magazine staffers informing them that they are required to be present throughout the day and to keep an eye on their mail inboxes to know about the status of their employment.
The deal is said to have been made by the National Geographic Society as part of its decision to strategically move forward. Employees have also been offered a “voluntary separation” option if they choose not to work under 21st Century Fox’s leadership.
Employees express concern for National Geographic’s future
Among the laid-off employees was also Michael “Nick” Nichols, a veteran photographer who is believed to have served National Geographic since 1966. However, “Nick” was not shocked at his termination. In fact, he was happy about it, as he was already close to retirement and he also stated that the severance package was quite satisfactory.
Nevertheless, Nick was concerned about whether National Geographic will continue to report on issues related to conservation of the Earth, which is what the National Geographic name has always been associated with. He also went on to state how reporting about such issues will be a problem for companies that run for-profit and the crucial role played by philanthropy in funding such assignments.
By the end of the day, social media platform,Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), was abuzz with tweets from National Geographic employees about the layoffs.