National Geographic to lay off 9 per cent of staff as deal to sell magazine to Fox nears

WASHINGTON – The National Geographic Society says it will lay off about 9 per cent of its staff of 2,000 as a deal to sell the magazine and other media properties to 21st Century Fox nears completion.

Spokeswoman M.J. Jacobsen said in an email late Tuesday that all employees have been told what their employment status will be once the deal closes later this month.

Buyouts have been offered to some employees, Jacobsen said.

In September, the 127-year-old non-profit struck a $725 million deal that gives 21st Century Fox a majority stake in National Geographic magazine, the National Geographic TV channel, and other media properties.

The agreement will give the company controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s family a 73 per cent stake in the new National Geographic Partners venture.