Layoffs at Macmillan and Tor

Diana Gill (by Liza Groen Trombi), Melissa Frain (by Francesca Myman), Diana Pho (by Arley Sorg)

Macmillan (parent company of Tor, Publishing, St. Martin’s, and others) has instituted layoffs company-wide, reduced pay for some employees, and has frozen hir­ing, effective April 2, in response to the projected impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Employees laid off include Tor executive editor Diana Gill, senior editor Melissa Frain, and editor Diana Pho; their last day is May 1. The sal­ary reductions are expected to last through June and only im­pact those making more than $60,000 a year, with greater reductions for higher salaries; senior executives are on half pay, while others will see 20-30% reductions. Fritz Foy, publisher and president of Tor and Forge, told us,

I think I can honestly say that the last seven weeks have been the most intense of my 35 years in publishing. While abruptly (and unexpectedly) transitioning to a work-from-home en­vironment, Tor has seen the majority of its retail outlets shuttered, or switching to curbside pickup, and the bulk of its annual shows and events cancelled. We’ve moved book-release dates as manufacturing bandwidth ebbed and flowed, we’ve had to crash-develop more and deeper “virtual” marketing and publicity competencies, we’ve dealt with layoffs and salary actions, and we’ve faced the illnesses of family, coworkers, and colleagues.

No decisions have been easy or straight­forward.

That said, books seem to be incredibly re­silient, and book lovers incredibly resourceful. Although business is far from great, there are any number of bright spots, and the worst-case scenarios have yet to manifest themselves. There are clearly a lot of long days ahead, and hundreds of unanticipated decisions that will need to be made. We hope for an eventual return to normal­ity and a continued healthy science fiction and fantasy publishing environment.

All three Tor editors are working freelance now. Details at,, and

[This story was previously reported on April 3, 2020, and updated April 30, 2020.]

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