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Steve Forbes: Mag Layoffs Imminent

Memo: “Current difficulties are a more intense version of what we underwent after 9/11.”

Rough day for newspapers, and rough day for magazines aimed at the people who read – or at least used to read – them.

Here’s a memo (via FishbowlNY) that was sent out by Steve Forbes today:

From: "Forbes, Steve"
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2009 15:31:09
Subject: All Hands from Steve Forbes

We — and the entire media world — have been hit hard by both the severe recession and the seismic shifts wrought by the Web. Given these dramatic events, further layoffs, unfortunately, are necessary across the entire organization. We are grateful to our colleagues and friends for the enormous contributions they have made to Forbes over the years. We thank them for all they have done and are deeply saddened by this course of events.

While these are acutely challenging times, Forbes Media is making the strategic and organizational changes that will enable us not only to weather these storms, but ultimately to emerge as a stronger company, well-positioned to expand and prosper in the years ahead.

Media is profoundly being transformed. The traditional ways we created and disseminated content and generated advertising revenue must rapidly evolve. Innovation is critical. On the editorial side, we will maintain the essential strengths of Forbes while also deepening our relationships with our community. On the advertising side, we are making shifts to fully meet marketers’ evolving needs.

These current difficulties are a more intense version of what we underwent eight years ago, particularly after 9/11. Then, print advertising plummeted, and our Web efforts, like those of other publishers, were in the red. Competitors effectively put their Web efforts in the deep freeze while we continued to invest in ours. That is why Forbes.com and its affiliates today are light years ahead of virtually all other media companies. Today we are facing and adapting to even more severe economic pressures. But, as we did in the early part of this decade, so, too, we are doing today — Forbes Media is laying the foundations for a strong, exciting future. The power of the Forbes brand is enabling us to make these strategic moves that will redefine the traditional scope of this company in fundamental ways.

Sadly, right now we must navigate through these turbulent times, and we remain thankful for all you do every day at Forbes.