Media Moves

WaPo to offer voluntary buyouts to 240 employees

October 12, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

The Washington Post is in plans to offer buyouts to employees across various departments as “prior projections for traffic, subscriptions, and advertising growth for the past two years – and into 2024 – have been overly optimistic” as per the Post’s interim CEO Patty Stonesifer.

Stonesifer’s memo obtained by The Washingtonian reads:

Dear colleagues, I am so sorry to share some difficult news.

Over the last 8 weeks, I have been working with the senior leadership team to review the current state of our business and financial results. We have determined that our prior projections for traffic, subscriptions, and advertising growth for the past two years – and into 2024 – have been overly optimistic and we are working to find ways to return our business to a healthier place in the coming year. We have work going on across the organization to develop a strong plan for 2024 – and make no mistake – we remain bullish about the future of The Washington Post. Our core products and many of our recent investments show great promise – and we all believe the growth we saw in 2016 to 2021 will be ours again if we prioritize and plan appropriately. But the urgent need to invest in our top growth priorities brought us to the difficult conclusion that we need to adjust our cost structure now.

As a result, we have decided to offer a voluntary separation package over the next few weeks designed to reduce our workforce by approximately 240 people across all functions of The Post. This program will offer generous incentives to employees in specific roles where we believe we can reduce costs if work can be assigned more efficiently, where positions do not need to be replaced or where we can otherwise achieve cost savings through a voluntary reduction in our workforce. This package will be offered to employees in specific roles or departments, and they will be free to accept or decline this option. To ensure this program is fair and voluntary, a much larger group of employees will receive the offer, but acceptances will be capped at approximately 240 people. In many cases, we are offering the program to all employees with a specific title or in a particular area, even though only a small subset of those employees will ultimately receive this benefit. (If acceptances exceed the cap, we will award based on seniority.)

To be clear, we designed this program to reduce our workforce by approximately 240 employees in the hopes of averting more difficult actions such as layoffs – a situation we are united in trying to avoid.

We will come together tomorrow, Wednesday October 11 at 10:00 a.m. ET both on Zoom (the link will be provided in a calendar invite) and in person in the 4th floor Live Center to further describe this program. Following this meeting, all eligible employees will be notified by email if their position is included in the program, and they are welcome to consider the package. Senior leaders will then share department specific information in meetings to follow throughout the day.

I know you will have many questions about this, and we will strive to answer these tomorrow as best as we can and will work together to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Thank you,


“We cannot comprehend how The Post, owned by one of the richest people in the world, has decided to foist the consequences of its incoherent business plan and irresponsibly rapid expansion onto the hardworking people who make this company run,” the union added in its statement shared on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Tuesday, The Associated Press reports.

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