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Post 21st Century Fox takeover, National Geographic starts biggest layoff

MUMBAI: The National Geographic Society will lay off about 9 per cent of its total staff of 2,000 people as it completes the deal to sell its magazine and other media properties to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

This is the largest layoff in the organisation’s 127-year history. The cost-cutting move will affect almost every department of the non-profit organisation. The reduction will also affect people who work for the National Geographic Channel, the most profitable part of the organisation.

In a statement, 21st Century Fox said, “The entities combined have about 2,000 employees, and all staff have been advised as to their status as of closing. Involuntary separations will represent less than 10 per cent of the overall workforce reduction, many in National Geographic Society shared services and a voluntary separation offer has also been made to eligible employees.”

Reports mentioned that several employees in the channel’s fact-checking department were terminated on Tuesday. Moreover, buyouts have been offered to some employees.

In September, National Geographic Society struck a $725 million deal that gives 21st Century Fox a majority stake in the National Geographic magazine, the National Geographic TV channel and other media properties.

The agreement will give 21st Century Fox a 73 per cent stake in the new National Geographic Partners venture.