Smithsonian Magazine lays off all 6 associate editors

Two sources tell me that Smithsonian magazine fired all six associate editors on Tuesday. I’ve asked editor-in-chief Michael Caruso to confirm this and comment on the account of the sackings, relayed by a friend of an axed editor [UPDATE: Caruso declined comment]:

Michael Caruso, the ed-in-chief at Smithsonian since October, laid off 6-8 people yesterday, including all 6 associate editors. They were the folks who did fact-checking and line editing – but several of them also wrote blogs, front-of-the-book items, and occasional features for the magazine.

Caruso apparently never bothered get to know or even meet the associate editors, and he referred to them as the “fact-checking” department, which belies a lack of understanding about what they did. Yesterday at 2pm [another source says it was 4 p.m. – Romenesko], he called them to a meeting, told them they were laid off, and then turned the room over to a rent-a-consultant who was supposed to help them find new jobs.

* Smithsonian editor-in-chief Carey Winfrey to retire (April 2011)
* Michael Caruso leaves WSJ to become Smithsonian’s top editor (October 2011)



1 comment
  1. I have written for Smithsonian and found the fact-checking at the magazine refreshingly thorough and professional. These firings are nothing less than tragic.