Anger at Murdoch After National Geographic Layoffs

Dark times for a venerable organization.

When layoffs happen, who is to blame, really? In the case of National Geographic, which announced yesterday it was laying off 180 employees across the organization, a lot of it was directed toward Rupert Murdoch.

If you recall, back in September it was announced that National Geographic was going for-profit for the first time in its 127 years of existence, thanks to the Murdoch-owned 21st Century Fox purchase of a controlling stake in the company.

Here’s Paul Farhi‘s obligatory but nonetheless foreshadow-y final paragraph on the buyout back in September:

There was no word on whether the transaction, which has been approved by the society’s board and is expected to close at the end of the year, will lead to layoffs. Representatives from both sides are to meet next week to discuss how all of the organization’s assets will be integrated into the partnership.

Beware strangers bearing buyout offers.

The layoffs represent another historic moment: the 9 percent cut in staff is the largest layoff in National Geographic’s history.

Rupert Murdoch responded to concerns with a tweet (of course), writing that everything was fine, convincing few.

The fact that a numbers of fired staffers were fact-checkers was a critical tell:

For Fusion senior editor Adam Weinstein, the news brought back his own fond layoff memories:

He was not the only one critical of how the layoffs were handled.