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New York magazine lays off staffers as publication undergoes restructuring

New York(CNN Business) New York Media, the parent company of New York magazine, laid off 16 full-time staffers and an additional 16 freelancers or part-time employees as the publication restructures, chief executive Pam Wasserstein said in a memo to employees on Monday.

The cuts represent about 5% of New York Media's full time staff.

"It has been a difficult day here," Wasserstein wrote in the memo obtained by CNN Business, adding that the change "reflects tough decisions" she had made with the management team over the last several months.

Wasserstein said the teams most impacted by the cuts were the video department, audience development team, and copy and fact checking.

"As part of our long-term planning process, we took a hard look at our existing structure and roles in an effort to most effectively organize our resources around our business strategy," Wasserstein wrote. "I believe this restructuring is necessary to put us on the firmest possible footing as an independent company, though that does not make today any less painful.

As the layoffs occurred on Monday, one laid off New York magazine staffer described the mood inside the offices as "chaotic," saying people started to panic as word spread throughout the newsroom. The person said some staffers shed tears in the newsroom.

The layoffs came after New York Media, the parent company of New York magazine, reportedly decided in February against a sale or outside investment after exploring opportunities.

The cuts also came after staffers unionized with the NewsGuild of New York in December.

In November 2018, New York magazine implemented a paywall on its website. And in January, longtime editor-in-chief Adam Moss announced he was departing the company. David Haskell was named as his successor.

Wasserstein said in her memo that she wanted to assure the teams that "there are no plans for further restructuring."

The media industry has been hard hit by layoffs in the last few months. Approximately 1,000 jobs were lost in January following staff cuts at BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper chain.

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