Media News

How the WSJ layoff strategy in DC backfired

February 26, 2024

Posted by Chris Roush

Ben Smith of Semafor writes about how the Wall Street Journal’s strategy regarding layoffs backfired with staffers.

Smith reports, “The Wall Street Journal laid off a list of well-regarded Washington reporters in early February, then rushed to assure three of them — Pulitzer winner Brody Mullins, Ted Mann of Bridgegate fame, and the political money sleuth Julie Bykowicz — that they would be able to apply for new jobs. It appeared to be an attempt to get around union rules requiring layoffs be structured by seniority, but it backfired badly: Morale at the Journal appears to be back in the toilet. Adding insult to injury, all the reporters the Journal sought to retain will instead take their union-mandated severance.

“Meanwhile, The New York Times has poached a star reporter in San Francisco, Kirsten Grind, who broke a series of stories on Elon Musk’s drug use. ‘I was not expecting to leave the Wall Street Journal after 20 years as an investigative reporter, but I have seen that this is an amazing opportunity for a new chapter,’ said Mullins, who’s presently focused on his and his brother Luke Mullins’ new book, ‘The Wolves of K Street.'”

Read more here.

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