Vox Media CEO says initiatives around native social video aren’t “viable audience or revenue growth drivers” for the company relative to other investments
Vox Media is the latest digital entertainment company to be hit with a round of layoffs. In a memo sent to staff this morning, Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff announced plans to lay off approximately 50 employees, with the Racked, Curbed, SB Nation, and Video Services teams taking the ” biggest impact.” The layoffs amount to about 5% of the company’s staff.
Bankoff also announced that about 12 employees would be offered role changes.
“As a result of our decision to wind down certain initiatives, we’ll be saying goodbye to some of our talented colleagues who have made valuable contributions to our success,” Bankoff wrote, calling today “one of the toughest days [they’ve] had as a company.”
“Our leadership team and I took this decision very seriously. We know it has a big impact on the lives of our co-workers who will be leaving, as well as on the morale of those who remain. We commit to treating all those affected with professionalism, compassion and dignity.”
Bankoff said that initiatives around native social video, while “growing successfully and surpassing audience growth goals, won’t be viable audience or revenue growth drivers for us relative to other investments we are making.” He pointed to “industry changes over the past few months and our long term budgeting process” as contributing factors.
He continued: “We are in a strong place creatively, journalistically, and financially,” he said. “However, staying ahead of the pack in this business requires not only relentless execution, but also making tough decisions like this, doing what we must when necessary to maximize opportunity in places with the clearest positive outcomes.”
At an industry conference last week, Bankoff explained that the company would be moving away from producing Facebook-native content because of “its unreliable monetization and promotion.”