Please wait...
Please wait...
Script Comp

Nat Geo makes historic job cuts

National Geographic Society in the US is laying off around nine per cent of its staff just two months after its merger with 21st Century Fox, impacting jobs at its TV channel and magazine.

Gary Knell

Gary Knell

Around 180 out of a total of 2,000 employees will lose their jobs across all division on the East Coast, representing the organisation’s highest number of redundancies in its 127-year history,

The cuts will affect staff who work for the National Geographic Channel, the most profitable part of the organisation, as well as the Nat Geo magazine.

Among those believed to have lost their jobs in New York is VP of development Nicole Reed, who joined the firm in 2014 from A&E, where she was director of non-fiction and alternative programming.

Other NYC redundancies include Kristen Wendell, director of development, Michael Kovnat, executive producer and Mike Welsh, EP, DC, according to C21 sources.

The news come after Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox paid US$725m for control of the National Geographic Society in September, a move that created National Geographic Partners, which includes National Geographic Channels.

Nat Geo staff received an e-mail from CEO Gary Knell yesterday, with instructions to check their emails for their employment statuses during the day.

“There is no doubt that this strategic move will amplify our mission and message across all media platforms with greater resources than today, all while ensuring the sustainability of the Society for many years to come,” the email read.

“Leadership teams for both Partners and the Society will be named when we close the transaction in mid-November.”

The email added: “Some of our colleagues will be leaving National Geographic over the next few days and, in some cases, weeks.

“We did not make these decisions without very serious consideration and care. We are providing all affected colleagues with meaningful severance packages to assist with the transition. We are also offering some colleagues the opportunity to choose an early separation based on a combination of age and years of service with National Geographic.”

The National Geographic Society also said it would freeze its pension plan for eligible employees and eliminate medical coverage for future retirees.

Representatives for National Geographic were unavailable for further comment at the time of writing.

Please wait...

Send us your news by
clicking here