National Geographic will end newsstand sales of magazine next year, focus on subscriptions, digital

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. venerable / ˈvɛn ər ə bəl / (adj.) – deserving respect because of old age or long experience

    There are a lot of venerable temples in our country. Most of them were built in the 1800s.

  2. circulation / ˌsɜr kyəˈleɪ ʃən / (n.) – the number of copies of a newspaper, magazine, etc., that are sold daily, weekly, or monthly

    The local newspaper has a daily circulation of about 100,000 copies.

  3. immune / ɪˈmyun / (adj.) – not affected by something, especially something that’s harmful or bad

    The celebrity is immune to people’s criticisms. He doesn’t mind them anymore.

  4. headwind / ˈhɛdˌwɪnd / (n.) – a situation or condition that may cause a decline in profits or income

    Small businesses remain positive despite economic headwinds.

  5. insinuation / ɪnˌsɪn yuˈeɪ ʃən / (n.) – the act of giving a negative or unpleasant remark in an indirect way

    He denied the insinuation that he stole money from the organization during his term.


Read the text below.

The familiar yellow-bordered cover of the monthly National Geographic will no longer be for sale on newsstands starting next year, part of cutbacks affecting the venerable magazine.

The company’s focus is turning to its digital product and it will offer special editions on newsstands, a spokesman said. Subscribers will still get a printed copy each month. Newsstand sales account for a small percentage of the magazine’s monthly circulation of just below 1.8 million copies, the magazine said.

Even a magazine that started publishing in 1888 isn’t immune to financial headwinds affecting the media. Known best for its colorful photography from around the world, the magazine was started more than a century ago by the National Geographic Society, which supports science and exploration.

Control of National Geographic has changed twice in the past decade, first in a sale to 20th Century Fox before being acquired by the Walt Disney Corp. in 2019. It has been hit by a series of layoffs.

Craig Welch posted on Twitter that his new issue of the magazine just arrived, featuring his 16th and last feature as a senior writer for the magazine.

“NatGeo is laying off all of its staff writers,” he wrote. The magazine said while it’s accurate it no longer has anyone with the title of “writer” anymore, it has people who both write and edit. Instead, it will turn to non-staffers to author stories. The changes occurred as the result of a reorganization in April. The company would not discuss how many people lost their jobs.

“National Geographic will continue to publish a monthly magazine that is dedicated to exceptional multi-platform storytelling with cultural impact,” spokesman Chris Albert said. “Staffing changes will not change our ability to do this work, but rather give us more flexibility to tell different stories and meet our audiences where they are across our many platforms.”

“Any insinuation that the recent changes will negatively impact the magazine, or the quality of our storytelling, is simply incorrect,” he added.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Due to financial headwinds, NatGeo is laying off all of its staff writers and will stop newsstand sales. Aside from these, what other measures do you think the company can take to implement cutbacks (ex. reduced work hours, voluntary retirement)? Discuss.
  • What businesses in your country do you think are less immune to financial headwinds (ex. travel and tourism, real estate)? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you agree with Chris Albert’s statement that it’s not true that the recent changes will negatively impact the magazine or the quality of their storytelling? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What factors do you believe would motivate people to continue supporting National Geographic despite the changes it has gone through (ex. brand reputation, continued impact)? Discuss.