Curtis Brainard, the science-news critic at the Columbia Journalism Review, is among several editors laid off or being threatened with layoffs following the departure of the magazine's editor, according to a report at capitalnewyork.com. Brainard directs and writes for CJR's The Observatory, which describes itself as "a lens on the science press."
AOL's Chris Grosso announced last Thursday in a blog post that Cyndi Stivers, CJR's editor, would become editor-in-chief of AOL.com. Joe Pompeo of capitalnewyork.com checked in with CJR to see what might happen in the wake of her departure and reported that CJR was in the midst of something close to a massacre.
According to Pompeo, CJR's executive editor, Mike Hoyt, who has been with CJR for 26 years and was editor before Stivers was hired in 2011, was laid off. So was Justin Peters, editor-at-large.
Brainard confirmed in an email this morning that he was given the option to be laid off or to have his schedule reduced to half time. He declined to comment on what he plans to do. Pompeo reports that the same deal was offered to Dean Starkman of CJR's The Audit, the business-press counterpart of The Observatory.
The moves were blamed on CJR's failure to meet fundraising targets. The layoffs must have come as a surprise; Brainard put up his most recent post at 3p.m. Friday. Pompeo's story appeared less than an hour later.