The Daily Beast Braces for Headcount Slash as New Leadership Enacts Buyout Plan

Management indicated to the Guild earlier this month that workforce reductions were coming down the pipeline

IAC and The Daily Beast
IAC/The Daily Beast

New leadership at The Daily Beast has begun the process of slimming down the money-losing organization, and is now accepting buyout applications to hit a reduction threshold.

“Management contacted Guild staff earlier this month and indicated they want to reduce the newsroom workforce,” a spokesperson for the NewsGuild of New York Jen Sheehan told TheWrap. “We are in the process of negotiations with management.”

An individual with knowledge of the plans speculated that as much as 40% of unionized staffers will be impacted “at the very least. … Union members are running around as if their hair is on fire.”

The Daily Beast Union has 37 members currently and their contract with management has been expired since Dec. 31, 2023. 

“As the Daily Beast Union is working under an expired contract, management is required to negotiate with us on any staff reductions,” Sheehan added. 

According to New York Times’ Ben Mullin, who first reported the news of the buyout plan on Tuesday, the $1.5 million is just the buyout reduction goal related to the Guild, and additional cuts beyond that are expected. 

In April, former ABC executive Ben Sherwood and former Hearst executive Joanna Coles were granted a minority stake in the news site, with Sherwood serving as CEO and Coles serving as chief content and creative officer. 

Since its creation in 2013, The Daily Beast has lost owner Barry Diller tens of millions of dollars, and the site has been known to be for sale. In its early days, the site was reported to have lost an average of $12 million a year, something that knowledgeable insiders have said hasn’t changed since.

Diller’s IAC did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.