Video emerges of Washington Post employees angry at publisher for refusing to ask questions about layoffs

Washington Post employees were angry Wednesday when publisher Fred Ryan refused to take questions after announcing the impending layoffs at a town hall event for employees.

Ryan, who serves as CEO of billionaire Jeff Bezos’ newspaper, suspended inquiries after telling employees that layoffs would occur in the first quarter of 2023.

“We don’t want to turn the town hall into a grievance meeting,” Ryan can be heard saying in a video shared by Post reporter Annie Gowen, seeking answers from disgruntled employees after announcing the layoffs.


“This isn’t a complaint session, these are questions,” replied the concerned employee as Ryan turned and walked away.

Another employee asked about protecting “people’s work,” referring to the recent destruction of a newspaper magazine.

“We’ll learn more as we move forward. Thank you very much,” Ryan replied before turning around and walking away once more. Other employees asked questions as the video cut, with one saying it was “disrespectful to the process.”

The Washington Post did not immediately respond to a series of questions, including reports of impending layoffs at the paper.

According to the insider, Ryan told staff that the paper was “evolving and changing,” leading to investments in coverage, products and people that provided “higher value” to subscribers and prospective audiences.

“As a result, a number of positions will be eliminated. “We expect this to be a single-digit percentage of our employee base and will finalize those plans in the coming weeks.”

Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan declined to take questions after announcing the pending layoffs at a town hall staff event Wednesday.
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo)

Last month, the Washington Post eliminated its Sunday magazine, laying off 10 employees in the process.

Gowen tagged the Washington Post union in his video, criticizing Ryan before the union announced more layoffs.


“Tomorrow the WaPo will host a town hall. The staff submitted questions in advance, but our publisher, Fred Ryan, rarely answers difficult questions. “But after the brutal firing, we want answers about the future of the WaPo. Democracy dies in darkness, right?”

The guild also questioned whether the company was in “financial trouble” and why recently fired employees were not offered open jobs elsewhere in the company.

“The @washingtonpost is an information organization. Journalists working here ask powerful people for answers every day. Tomorrow we will turn this responsibility inside out and ask our publisher to tell their employees the truth. Follow us,” the Guild wrote in front of City Hall.

Fred Ryan, the CEO of billionaire Jeff Bezos' newspaper, has suspended inquiries after telling employees that layoffs will occur in the first quarter of 2023.

Fred Ryan, the CEO of billionaire Jeff Bezos’ newspaper, has suspended inquiries after telling employees that layoffs will occur in the first quarter of 2023.
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The guild did not immediately respond to a request for comment after the town hall.

Ryan’s announcement comes after weeks for the media industry, in which Warner Bros. Discovery, Gannett and others have cut staff as economic uncertainty plagues news organizations.


Gannett, a newspaper juggernaut that owns dozens of local media outlets along with USA Today, has launched. the last stage of dismissal last month The cost-cutting effort affected about 6 percent of the company’s new workforce of about 3,440 employees.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s CNN is perhaps the most high-profile, as widespread layoffs have seen everyone from top talent to executives lose their jobs. According to Puck News, CNN did not disclose the total number of employees being let go, but “hundreds” of employees will ultimately be affected.

The Walt Disney Company also recently announced that it would cut jobs and freeze hiring. Amazon, Apple, Meta, Lyft and Twitter are among other companies that are suspending hiring or laying off workers as businesses hold back on spending.

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