American Express Publishing Cuts 22 Jobs

Move Follows Time Inc.'s Decision to Eliminate Up to 700 Jobs

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- American Express Publishing, whose magazines include Travel & Leisure and Food & Wine, is eliminating 22 jobs across departments, a spokeswoman said today. The move comes as magazine publishers including Time Inc. and newspaper companies such as Gannett slash jobs in a bid to protect margins as costs rise and revenue falls; the challenges facing print publishers have been exacerbated by the broader economic slowdown and recent financial calamities.
Ad pages at American Express Publishing, which publishes Travel + Leisure, fell 3.6% in the first half of the year.
Ad pages at American Express Publishing, which publishes Travel + Leisure, fell 3.6% in the first half of the year.

"As you are well aware, these are extremely tough times," President-CEO Ed Kelly wrote in a memo to staff yesterday. "The past six weeks of economic turbulence have added significant pressure on our company, and I have been forced to take a hard and realistic look at our budgets and resources and make some difficult decisions related to our current business structure and operating costs."

The memo continues: "Due to a number of factors that our company and industry face -- a decline in ad spending, increased prices for postage, paper and ink, and changing media consumption habits -- I have determined that we must streamline and restructure functions to better prepare our organization to meet these business challenges."

Ad pages at American Express Publishing fell 3.6% in the first half of the year, according to the Media Industry Newsletter. After the layoffs, the company will continue to employ about 500 people, a spokeswoman said.

Read the full memo:

As you are well aware, these are extremely tough times. The past six weeks of economic turbulence have added significant pressure on our company, and I have been forced to take a hard and realistic look at our budgets and resources and make some difficult decisions related to our current business structure and operating costs.

Due to a number of factors that our company and industry face -- a decline in ad spending, increased prices for postage, paper and ink, and changing media consumption habits -- I have determined that we must streamline and restructure functions to better prepare our organization to meet these business challenges.

This is one of the toughest decisions I've had to make because it will affect 22 of our colleagues. These employees have been notified by their leaders and most will be leaving over the next couple of weeks. I appreciate the contributions that each of these individuals has made to American Express Publishing and ask that we support our colleagues during this transition.

I realize that there is real pain involved. That said, we must re-energize as we face this demanding environment. We will have wins and losses along the way. I challenge each of you to be more resourceful and strategic as you do business.

When I think about what it's going to take in order to succeed, I have confidence in our talented colleagues, the power of our well-established brands, the strength of American Express behind us, the vitality of our audience, and our will to win. We will emerge from these times stronger than ever. Stay focused on innovation and success.

Thank you for your hard work and continued commitment.

Ed
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