Slate, the Washington Post-owned online news magazine, is letting go “several” staffers, including media critic and Press Box columnist Jack Shafer, Adweek reported. The news comes a few weeks after WaPo reported another set of dismal earning results for its flagship paper and Slate.
Total revenues for WaPo’s online adjuncts, primarily the washingtonpost.com and Slate, decreased 13 percent to $23.4 million in Q2. Specifically, newspaper online revenues declined 3 percent to $49.1 million for the first six months of 2011.
Slate’s performance wasn’t broken out in the Q2 earnings report. In March, The Slate Group, the umbrella unit for Slate.com and sibling sites The Root.com and ForeignPolicy.com, said that combined ad revenue from all those entities gained 33 last year. Nevertheless, revenues moving in the right direction, Slate still felt the need to pull the plug on financial news site The Big Money and feminism and cultural criticism site DoubleX over a year ago.
Shafer, who’s been with Slate for 15 years, was just celebrated in an American Journalism Review profile as a “fearless media critic” who applies an “uncompromising approach to his craft.”
Early evening e-mails to WaPo/Slate representatives were not returned.
The news of Shafer’s role being reduced came a few hours after another popular media news figure, Jim Romenesko, said that he would be entering “semi-retirement” to pursue a new venture.