Vox Media may be the latest canary in the coalmine, as the privately held digital media company is reportedly laying off 39 employees, according to CNBC, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The cuts will affect employees in sales, marketing, recruiting and specific editorial teams, while the company will also reduce non-essential expenses.
New York Magazine, which is owned by Vox Media, isn’t affected, said the person, who asked not to be named because the decisions are private. The company’s brands also include namesake outlet Vox, The Verge, Curbed and Now This. A spokesperson for Vox Media declined to comment. -CNBC
In a memo to staff, CEO Jim Bankoff cited deteriorating economic conditions.
"The current economic conditions are impacting companies like ours in multiple ways, with supply chain issues reducing marketing and advertising budgets across industries and economic pressures changing the ways that consumers spend," he wrote in a memo obtained by CNBC. "Our aim is to get ahead of greater uncertainty by making difficult but important decisions to pare back on initiatives that are lower priority or have lower staffing needs in the current climate."
Bankoff claims that the cuts affect "under 2% of the company."
Our aim is to get ahead of greater uncertainty by making difficult but important decisions to pare back on initiatives that are lower priority or have lower staffing needs in the current climate.
Vox's cuts mark the latest 'failure to launch' in the space, after the company acquired Group Nine Media earlier this year, adding such brands as "The Dodo", "Seeker", and "Thrillist" to its portfolio - along with hundreds of employees.
The digital media industry hasn’t gotten the valuation bump executives hoped might happen with BuzzFeed’s decision to go public. BuzzFeed went public via a special purpose acquisition company at $10 per share in December. Seven months later, BuzzFeed shares are below $2.
Vox Media’s decision to cut staff may be the tip of the iceberg for media. Since 2000, on a year-by-year basis, the biggest three years for job losses in the industry all coincided with recessions — the 2020 Covid-19 pullback, the 2007-09 financial crisis and the 2001 dot-com bubble bust, according to data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas. -CNBC
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