The staff of Paper Magazine was laid off today…
According to Adweek, the layoffs affect between 20 to 30 full-time staff. Their last day will be April 28. Editor in chief Justin Moran will remain with the company through May, although editorial operations will cease immediately.
The publisher itself is not shuttering, but is instead seeking to cut costs as it looks toward alternative options to remain in operation. One potential investor has expressed interest, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Publisher Tom Florio, who announced the layoffs, told staff that the advertising downturn of the last year prompted the decision. Florio acquired Paper in 2017 creating the holding company ENTech Media Group.
The publication began in 1984 as a downtown arts and style magazine, reports on music, pop culture and fashion. I worked as a designer on the first issues with editors Kim Hastreiter and David Hershkovitz and art directors Lucy Sisman and Richard Weigand.
I would leave my full-time staff job at Vanity Fair and go to the New York Times offices in Times Square in the evenings to work on the issue, where Weigand & Sisman were art directors for the Sunday Times Magazine. In the beginning, the format was a single press sheet folded in eighths. It was huge when opened, ringed by ads from all the cool hotspots.
For years Paper was the downtown bible of NYC culture until it wasn’t, but a 30+ year run is pretty damn good.
In the last few years, without a robust reader revenue product, Paper found itself reliant on digital advertising for the bulk of its revenue, so as traffic steadily decreased, did its its revenue.
Paper follows in the footsteps of dozens of other digital media publishers, including Insider and BuzzFeed News, that have cut or shuttered titles in response to a depressed media buying climate.
Paper Magazine has laid off its staff with editorial operations ceasing immediately.— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) April 26, 2023
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