National Geographic CEO: Layoffs Were Necessary

A move before a move.

Gary Knell, CEO of National Geographic, has decided to speak up about the massive layoffs announced earlier this week. Knell told The Washington Post that cutting about 180 staffers was a necessary and preemptive measure.

Knell explained that once the deal with 21st Century Fox closed, the new company—National Geographic Partners—would have to make cuts, so he and the other execs decided to act sooner rather than later.

Also, Declan Moore, set to be the new CEO of Partners, backed up Rupert Murdoch’s claim that only four editorial members were cut, the rest of the layoffs are coming from legal and administrative departments.

Still, things are—to put it lightly—uneasy at National Geographic. One staffer told WaPo that employees offered a buyout were only given one week to decide on their fate.

“That’s not much time to get ducks in a row,” said the staffer. “We’re all poring through [the offer] trying to make sense of it. There’s lots of head-shaking, for sure.”