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November 04, 2015

Following Sale, National Geographic to Shed 9% of Staff

The National Geographic Society will lay off about 180 of its 2,000 employees, cutting costs in the wake of the sale of its venerable magazine and other assets to Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, writes The Washington Post.

The staff cut is the largest in the nonprofit society's 127-year-history and affects almost every department of the organization, including the magazine and the National Geographic Channel. It comes two months after the society announced the $725 million sale of a 73-percent stake in its operations to the media conglomerate controlled by Mr. Murdoch and his family. The deal is set to close this month.

The society will also offer buyouts to an undetermined number of employees, freeze its pension plan for eligible workers, and eliminate health-care coverage for future retirees. A National Geographic spokeswoman said the decision to make the cuts was not part of the 21st Century Fox deal.