In an age where digital is king, another titan of the print world falls, reminding us of the brutal realities of evolving media landscapes.
Once a titan in the world of fashion and pop culture, Paper Magazine, infamous for its groundbreaking 2014 Kim Kardashian cover, now stands as an empty shell of its former glory. Laying off its entire editorial staff, the publication marks the latest casualty in the struggle of print media to stay afloat in the digital age.
This American icon, born in 1984, has been a beacon of style and trends, but dwindling sales and a drop in ad revenue have forced the magazine to shutter its editorial department on Wednesday.
Paper Magazine’s struggle is not an isolated incident. It’s part of an alarming trend in the media industry grappling with financial hardships. Just recently, Vice Media announced massive layoffs and the discontinuation of Vice News Tonight. Moreover, in a startling move, BuzzFeed News shuttered its entire newsroom in April 2023, leaving its avid online community in shock.
Vox Media, the parent company of renowned outlets like New York Magazine, The Verge, Thrillist, and Vulture, is not exempt from this wave of instability. Earlier in the year, the company announced plans to terminate approximately seven percent of its staff, a staggering figure that translated to roughly 130 jobs lost.
According to Adweek, Paper Magazine’s layoffs might affect anywhere between twenty to thirty full-time employees, including writers and editors. The termination process is set to begin on the last Friday of April, leading to a foreseeable difficult period for the magazine.
With the editorial staff shown the door, Paper Magazine’s editorial operations will come to an abrupt halt. However, Editor-in-Chief Justin Moran will hold the fort until May, overseeing the publishing of projects still in the pipeline.
In a heartfelt Instagram post, Moran shared, “Team Paper was laid off today. It’s been my greatest privilege and honor to lead the most talented group of people I know. And create a magazine together that we’re all so proud of. I’m not sure what the future holds for me, but in the meantime, we will be publishing our new, unreleased projects on Paper in the coming weeks.”
News editor Jade Gomez echoed the sentiment on Twitter, saying, “The cat is out of the bag. Our entire staff was laid off.” She further expressed to Resident Advisor, “It was a surprise, but deep down, I felt something was coming.”
The devastating news about Paper Magazine was broken to the staff during a company-wide meeting on April 27, 2023. The announcement was effective immediately, resulting in instant job losses.
In a similar vein, Vice Media slashed more than a hundred jobs. Co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala conveyed to their staff in a note, “We are transforming VICE News to better withstand market realities and more closely align with how and where we see our audiences engaging with our content most.”