American Media lays off entire Men’s Journal editorial staff

Men’s Journal, acquired by American Media in mid-2017, is laying off its entire editorial staff and moving the magazine to Carlsbad, California, by the end of May.

About 20 editorial staffers are estimated to be getting pink-slipped as the magazine will be moved into the same offices in California where Transworld Snowboarding and other titles from the Adventure Sports Network are now based.

“The strategic decision to merge Men’s Journal’s editorial operations with the passionate and talented staff of the Adventure Sports Network in Carlsbad, California, which American Media acquired a year ago, ensures the continued growth and success for Men’s Journal as well as ASN,” an American Media spokesman said.

Men’s Journal was believed to be a money-losing operation at the time of its 2017 acquisition, but seemed to get a new lease on life initially when it made the move to American Media. At the end of 2017, the company said it was shutting its own Men’s Fitness title and folding its 700,000-plus circulation and boosting the combined Men’s Journal to 1.25 million circulation. Plans were laid to publish on heavier paper stock as it took away at the Outside magazine audience.

Last week American Media sold three magazines, Muscle & Fitness, Flex and Muscle & Fitness Hers, and the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition and trade show, to Arizona businessman Jake Wood for an estimated $70 million.

Men’s Journal was left out of that deal, appearing to dodge a bullet. Wood, who runs a female bodybuilding show, seemed more interested in the Mr. Olympia and bodybuilding trade shows. He quickly disclosed plans to end print and take the three magazines digital-only.

But Friday was the day of reckoning for Men’s Journal, after all. Senior editor J. R. Sullivan tweeted the news at 12:44 p.m.: “Bad news! The entire Men’s Journal staff got laid off today, including me! I feel nothing but gratitude for my time at the magazine, and I’ve been fortunate to work with an incredible group of writers.”

The layoffs include Greg Emmanuel, the chief content officer and most senior editor, who had moved with the title from Wenner Media and got elevated to the top job when American Media laid off the previous editor-in-chief, Mark Healy, in 2017.

The ad sales staff, however, remains intact in New York, the company said.

The magazine, which had cut back from monthly to 10 times a year in 2019, will drop its print edition to six times a year and trim circulation to 1 million.

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