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Hearst to lay off nearly 60 staffers at Oprah Magazine

Hearst to lay off nearly 60 staffers at Oprah Magazine
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Hearst Magazines will lay off dozens of staffers at The Oprah Magazine and reduce its print circulation to four issues a year, the company said in a filing with the New York State Labor Department.

The layoffs will affect 59 staffers, beginning in February. Friday's filing did not detail which staffers would be affected, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

“Supporting our colleagues through the peak of the pandemic by protecting jobs and enhancing benefits has been our priority,” a Oprah Magazine spokeswoman said in a statement. “As we embark on this new chapter and introduce a new model for this beloved brand, we must also make difficult decisions to position the business for growth, which we are doing with consideration and care.”

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The company told staffers over the summer that the magazine's regular print run would end, with Winfrey herself outlining the cut from 12 issues a year to four in August.

Oprah Magazine, sometimes abbreviated as O, “is evolving because after 20 years of covers I think it’s time," she said at the time.

"I also think it’s a good thing because none of us were meant to stay the same. We evolve with the times,” she added.

Winfrey, who started the magazine in 2000, has in recent years been prioritizing projects such as a new TV deal with Apple. While the decision to pare back the magazine was attributed to her, Hearst is also reportedly reducing annual print issues for magazines like Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Elle.

With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting the advertising industry, Hearst has also looked to paywalls as a potential revenue source, according to Women's Wear Daily, introducing them for its online editions of Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Men’s Health and Popular Mechanics.