Insider Lays Off 10 Percent of Staff After Announcing Pivot to AI

Just a week after urging its writers to incorporate AI tools like ChatGPT into their workflow, Insider has laid off 10 percent of its staff. “As you know, our industry has been under significant pressure for more than a year. The economic headwinds that have hurt many of our clients and partners are also affecting us,” Insider president Barbara Peng wrote in an email to staff sent this morning. “Unfortunately, to keep our company healthy and competitive, we need to reduce the size of our team,” Peng continued, adding that “the reduction would affect about 10 percent” of the publication’s workforce. SCOOP: Insider is laying off 10% of its team, according to a memo sent out this morning by president Barbara Peng. Here’s the memo: — Corbin Bolies (@CorbinBolies) April 20, 2023 It’s been a bruising year for the media industry, with numerous publishers laying off swaths of employees. And Insider’s layoffs, while perhaps not directly related to the incorporation of AI, speak to a troubling new pattern of media layoffs and AI announcements going hand-in-hand — if only, perhaps, as a way of softening the bad news to investors. In Insider’s case, it’s not hard to zoom out and see connections. Just last month, the CEO of the site’s owner Axel Springer, Mathias Döepfner, noted in an internal letter to employees — in the midst of a round of Axel Springer layoffs, no less — that “artificial intelligence has the potential to make independent journalism better than it ever…Insider Lays Off 10 Percent of Staff After Announcing Pivot to AI

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