National Geographic magazine will no longer be carried at newsstands beginning in 2024, according to an AP report, in the latest round of downsizing at the publication.
A NatGeo spokesperson confirmed with AP on Thursday (June 29) that the company—owned by Disney—will focus instead on its digital publication and subscribers. Those with a subscription, an estimated 1.78 million at the end of 2022, will still receive hard copies of the magazine monthly. Special editions of the magazine will reportedly still make an appearance on newsstands.
Earlier this week, multiple employees at NatGeo reported that all remaining staff writers had been laid off. A total of 19 editorial members were cut, according to the Washington Post. They were given notice of the dismissals in April. NatGeo’s writing will now be outsourced to freelancers.
“Staffing changes will not change our ability to do this work,” a NatGeo spokesperson said to CNN. “Any insinuation that the recent changes will negatively impact the magazine, or the quality of our storytelling, is simply incorrect.”
Founded in 1888 by the National Geographic Society, the magazine became iconic for in-depth reporting and vivid photography exploring history, science, anthropology, and nature.
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced a $5.5 billion plan to cut costs across the company in February. The entertainment goliath has since fired 7,000 employees in multiple rounds of layoffs. One of Iger’s priorities is to turn around struggling streaming service Disney+.
“Instead of chasing (subscribers) with aggressive marketing and aggressive spend on content, we have to start chasing profitability,” said Iger at a Disney all-hands meeting in November, as Reuters reported.