Megyn Breaks Down What’s Behind the Massive Layoffs at Legacy Media Outlets Like ‘Sports Illustrated’

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It’s been a rough start to the new year for the media industry with print, digital, and broadcast outlets announcing consolidations and layoffs on what seems to be a daily basis. 

Sports Illustrated, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post are just a few of the legacy publications that have been hit particularly hard, and it seems like many within the industry are dumbfounded by what went wrong.

On Thursday’ show, Megyn was joined by Andrew Klavan, author of The House of Love and Death, to discuss the demise of traditional media and what the left doesn’t understand about the failures.

Legacy Layoffs

In case you haven’t heard, Megyn ticked off just a few of the media brands that have downsized as of late. “The mainstream media is dying and these ridiculously untrustworthy outlets are going down left and right to the point where we need to talk about it,” she said. “Just today, Business Insider announced its laying off 8 percent of its staff, which is considerable; The Washington Post just had massive layoffs; The LA Times announced a huge round of layoffs earlier this week… more than 20 percent of the newsroom got the ax; Sports Illustrated essentially closed its doors last week; and I could keep going.”

Megyn expressed empathy for those who lost their jobs, but she said “the collapse of the mainstream media is not bad” given how the industry has devolved in recent years. But that hasn’t stopped those within the system from having what Megyn called a “meltdown” over the changes. 

Case in point, WaPo columnist Taylor Lorenz took to social media on Wednesday to lament the “collapse of journalism.” While Megyn said “a lot of what Lorenz said is true,” she also showed how insulated the media bubble has become.

Below is a sampling of what she said:

LORENZ: The entire journalism industry is basically in a free fall. Today, The Los Angeles Times laid off 115 employees… But what’s really dark is this is just the latest in months and months and months of layoffs in the media industry. In fact, tens of thousands of journalists have been laid off in the past year… Pretty much the entire digital media ecosystem that myself and a lot of other millennial journalists came up in has been completely hollowed out. 

And it’s not just digital media sites. Local news has been obliterated. The newspaper industry is cratering. Radio is essentially dead aside from NPR, which has been gutted… Even mainstream national media outlets owned by billionaires like The Washington Post, where I work, and The Atlantic, where I used to work, have done layoffs. 

If you’re a young journalist today there’s almost no onramp to traditional journalism. Even if you do get a job, journalist salaries have been stagnant and even declined. And by the way, we don’t make that much to begin with. I don’t think people understand how bad the world would be without journalists.

In Klavan’s view, all of these failing media outlets have at least on thing in common. “Sports Illustrated is dying because it went woke; The LA Times is dying because it’s woke; that’s why Washington Post is dying too,” he said. “They’re not dying because the internet was invented. They’re dying because they don’t tell the truth.”

Bye, Bye SI

One of the more headline-making layoffs of the last few weeks came from Sports Illustrated. The once storied sports publication let go of virtually all of its staff after the licensing group that runs it failed to make a payment. It is now operating with a skeleton crew and it is unclear what comes next.

Klavan very publicly unsubscribed from SI several years ago because he believed the magazine had lost its way. “Sports Illustrated, which 10 to 15 years ago was still a terrific venue to find out about sports, started preaching (A) about how George W. Bush was a terrible president and (B) about how God was this terrible God,” he explained. “This was what caused me to cancel my subscription.”

But it didn’t stop there. He pointed to the evolution of the annual swimsuit issue to include more diverse body types and even trans women as a more recent example. “Nobody wants to be mean, nobody wants to pick on people, but you force people into this situation… by violating any human standard,” Klavan explained. “They force us to push back and say no, a man can’t become a woman… It’s this idea that if you don’t accept their complete distortion of reality, that complete reversal of the moral order, you are the bad guy.”

The Future of Media

As Megyn explained, one thing is clear: Media as we know it is “endangered” – and “there’s a very good reason for it.” That is why she believes a new kind of independent media has emerged and grown exponentially in recent years. 

Ultimately, Megyn said that lane represents the future. “People don’t trust these corporate conglomerates anymore because they’ve just been exposed as having an agenda,” she concluded. “The future of media is independent connections between the audience and a host, an anchor, or a journalist who they trust.”

You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Klavan by tuning in to episode 710 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.