The Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan sparked an outcry from employees after announcing layoffs and refusing to take questions during a town hall event on Wednesday.
In a video of the event, Ryan said, "We're not going to turn the town hall into a grievance session," after reportedly informing staffers that the company will face layoffs in the first quarter of 2023.
One staffer can be heard saying, "It's not a grievance session; it's questions," as Ryan turns to leave. Another staffer asks about "people's jobs" being protected, in an apparent reference to The Post shuttering its Sunday magazine last month.
"We'll have more information as we move forward. Thank you very much," Ryan said in response before walking away.
"The Washington Post is evolving and transforming to put our business in the best position for future growth. We are planning to direct our resources and invest in coverage, products and people in service of providing high value to our subscribers and new audiences. As a result, a number of positions will be eliminated. We anticipate it will be a single-digit percentage of our employee base, and we will finalize those plans over the coming weeks. This will not be a net reduction in Post headcount. Recently, we have made some of the largest investments in The Post's history and 2023 will be another year of continued investment," Washington Post chief communications officer Kathy Baird said in a statement.
Washington Post Guild leadership released a statement saying, "Members of the Washington Post Guild are outraged at the unceremonious announcement of layoffs at today's so-called town hall led by our publisher, Fred Ryan. After informing staffers that the company could eliminate up to 9% of positions companywide in the first quarter of next year, Ryan refused to take questions from his employees and walked out of the room. This behavior is unacceptable from any leader, but especially the leader of a news organization whose core values include transparency and accountability."
Theodore Bunker ✉
Theodore Bunker, a Newsmax writer, has more than a decade covering news, media, and politics.
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