Senior writers and editors at Billboard and Vibe magazines were pink slipped early Tuesday, employees tweeted. Cuts at THR are also expected to begin on Tuesday, insiders told Variety. These layoffs are believed to include editorial employees, as well as staffers in other departments.
At least eight people were dismissed from Dick Clark Productions, said one source of the producer of the annual Golden Globe awards, and roughly three staffers from “Ozark” and “Knives Out” producer MRC. A Valence Media spokesperson had no immediate comment on the matter. The layoffs are expected to continue throughout the day.
The staff reduction was attributed to COVID-19, said Vibe deputy editor William Ketchum III, in a tweet.
“Today was my last day as deputy editor at @VibeMagazine. My position was eliminated as a result of various layoffs across the parent company in response to the coronavirus. Grateful to have nearly two years with one of the most iconic brands in music/cultural journalism,” he wrote.
Despite the chaos inflected by the pandemic, The Hollywood Reporter was losing roughly $10 million annually and its owners were pushing to rein in costs. The publication was hit hard last week when Matthew Belloni, its editorial director, stepped down after conflicts with Valence and MRC executives who pressured him to tone down the publication’s coverage of movies and celebrities with whom it did business.