Philadelphia Magazine announces layoffs, shuts down popular Eagles section of website

Philadelphia Magazine has laid off four employees, cutting what was a roughly 20-member editorial staff at the city's venerable glossy monthly.

Notices went out Wednesday and Thursday at the publication, which is owned by Metro Corp.'s Herb Lipson and his son, David Lipson. Metro Corp. also publishes the monthly Boston Magazine.

A memo went out Wednesday morning notifying readers that the popular Birds 24/7 section of the magazine's website, covering the Eagles, would be shut down:

"Philadelphia Magazine is ceasing publication of new material on Birds 24/7, effective today. The archives will remain online.

"We would like to thank the current editors, Josh Paunil and Brandon Gowton, for their hard work and dedication; we wish them well in their next endeavors. We’d also like to recognize the founding editors, Tim McManus and Sheil Kapadia, and the commenters, who made the channel a real community over the past four and a half years."

In addition to Paunil and Gowton, staff writers David Gambacorta and Jared Brey were laid off. Both reporters confirmed their departures on their Twitter accounts:

Editor Tom McGrath declined Thursday to comment further on the layoffs.

David Lipson, president of both Philadelphia and Boston Magazines, addressed the moves in a company-wide memo sent Wednesday (read the full memo here):

"Today, I am announcing a business plan that calls for greater efficiency, a tightening of our editorial mission and the launch of an initiative to establish better operating standards and innovative advertising products ..."

"We are eliminating the Birds 24/7 channel in Philadelphia. Our Eagles coverage has generated a strong following among fans, but making a successful business out of it has been a challenge. While I believe we brought a new way to cover the Eagles (both founders of the blog have since been hired by ESPN), we re-energized our competition and now there is a glut of coverage..."

"In order to invest in areas for future growth and focus our efforts towards our most profitable product lines, we have completed a restructuring of our staff through a combination of attrition and the elimination of seven other positions across our company. Cutbacks like these are always difficult and painful, but they are necessary for the overall continued health of our company..."

"I feel confident that with the talent that we have in the company, our best days are ahead of us."

Continue Reading