Iconic Paper Magazine which ‘broke the internet’ with its Kim Kardashian cover lays off its ENTIRE editorial staff – a day after Vice cuts and a week after BuzzFeed News shutters

  • The magazine is best known for its viral Kim Kardashian cover shoot from 2014
  • The layoffs will reportedly affect between 20 and 30 full-time magazine staff 
  • It is the latest in a series of cutbacks at Vice, BuzzFeed and across the industry 

Paper Magazine, made famous for its viral 2014 Kim Kardashian ‘break the internet’ cover shoot, has let go all of its editorial staff. 

The employees at the iconic American fashion and pop culture publication founded in 1984 were reportedly laid off on Wednesday due to declining ad revenue. 

It is the latest in a series of cutbacks across the industry, following a series of dismissals at Vice Media, including the shuttering of Vice News Tonight, and the announcement last week that BuzzFeed News axed its entire newsroom.

Vox Media, which includes New York Magazine, Vulture, The Verge and Thrillist announced in January that it would lay off 130 people, about seven percent of its workforce across the board.

According to Adweek, the Paper layoffs will affect between 20 to 30 full-time staff, including writers and editors, beginning Friday.

It is understood that editorial operations will cease immediately, but Editor-in-Chief Justin Moran will remain with the company through May and publish unreleased projects.

Paper Magazine was made famous by its viral 2014 Kim Kardashian ‘break the internet’ cover

The magazine’s latest cover features New York rapper Ice Spice surrounded by diamonds 

The magazine’s publisher Tom Florio reportedly told staff that the decision was based off a downturn in advertising last year, the outlet reported. 

The publisher itself is not shuttering but is instead seeking to cut costs as it looks toward alternative options to remain in operation. One potential investor has allegedly expressed interest.

Editor-in-chief Justin Moran wrote on Instagram: ‘Team Paper was laid off today. 

‘It’s been my greatest privilege and honor to lead the most talented group of people I know. And create a magazine together that we’re all so proud of. 

‘I’m not sure what the future holds for myself, but in the meantime we will be publishing our new, unreleased projects on Paper in the coming weeks.’

News editor Jade Gomez wrote on Twitter: ‘The cat is out of the bag. Our entire staff was laid off.’ 

Gomez told Resident Advisor: ‘It was a surprise but deep down I felt something was coming.’

The news came during a company-wide meeting on April 27 and was effective immediately, she said.

The New York-based pop culture magazine was founded in 1984 by journalists Kim Hastreiter and David Hershkovits.

Focusing on underground music, technology and fashion, the publication had a paid circulation of 125,000 in 2014, issuing eight editions a year, and over 1.3 million unique visitors per month to its website. 

Hastreiter and Hershkovits reportedly sold their stakes in the company in 2017 to newly formed media group ENTtech Media Group, founded by Tom Florio – who had previously worked as the publishing director of Vogue, Teen Vogue, Bon Appetit and Conde Nast Traveler. 

When the magazine released the now-iconic Kim Kardashian photoshoot in 2014, where the reality star posed completely naked, the article accrued nearly 16 million page views in a week. 

The magazine’s latest cover, which came out on April 12, features 23-year-old Bronx-born rapper Ice Spice. 

The magazine was founded in 1984 by journalists David Hershkovits and Kim Hastreiter

Pete Davidson and Julia Fox posed for a Barbie-inspired shoot for the magazine in 2019 

Comedian Pete Davidson posed as a Ken doll for the New York-based magazine in 2019

Actor Amanda Bynes also featured on the cover of a ‘break the internet’ issue in 2018

Paper Magazine is following in the footsteps of other media organizations announcing closures and layoffs this year.

In addition to Vox Media, Paper and BuzzFeed, Gannett Inc., the publisher of several national newspapers including USA Today announced layoffs earlier this year, and Business Insider is also making severe cuts, with around 10 percent of its news division reportedly being laid off.

On Thursday, Vice Media said it would cut more than 100 jobs and canceled its Vice News Tonight program. The company is also ending its Vice World News brand, despite it bringing in the majority of revenue for Vice’s news division last year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

‘We are transforming VICE News to better withstand market realities and more closely align with how and where we see our audiences engaging with our content most,’ co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala told staff in a note that was reviewed by Journal.

DailyMail.com approached Paper’s publisher for comment.  

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