Even 'The Economist' Not Immune From Layoffs

Cuts About a Dozen Employees in Reorganization

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The Economist Group, whose flagship title was recently named Advertising Age's Magazine of the Year, has laid off about a dozen employees in North America.

Some of the cuts were the result of redundancies created when Andrew Rashbass, who became CEO in July, decided to reorganize the company, according to a spokesman who confirmed word of the layoffs.

Some were the result of the same thing that has induced big layoffs from Time Inc. to Hearst Magazines to Conde Nast: the sharp economic downturn and bleak outlook for 2009.

"Some of the layoffs are a result of the integration process," the spokesman said. "And then we've obviously made the same calculation that a lot of publishers have made about this year and the dire outlook."

The majority came not from the magazine but from The Economist Intelligence Unit, the group's business-to-business publishing arm, he said.

The Economist Group has roughly 225 employees remaining.

The magazine has seen ad page sales slow, however, as this year has darkened. The Economist's North American edition increased ad pages by 3.4% through the Nov. 1 issue, according to the Media Industry Newsletter. That's a smaller gain than the 7.2% increase the magazine posted through mid-August.

Its paid circulation averaged 747,254 over the first half of this year, 7.6% higher than the first half a year earlier, according to reports with the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
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