Wednesday morning, Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff, announced in a staff memo the plan to layoff 50 employees. The bulk of this layoff will reside with Racked, Curbed and SB Nation layoffs. 12 other employees will experience “role changes”, accounting for roughly 5 percent of the entire Vox staff.
Media industry layoffs have become somewhat common recently. CNN Digital recently made the decision to terminate roughly 40 employees as well as BuzzFeed last November. After Thanksgiving, ESPN laid off more than 100 staffers with multiple on-air personnel. In 2015 ESPN laid off roughly 300 journalists as well as nearly 100 last April. The network itself has dropped from $100.13 million in 2011 to an estimated $87.5 million.
These layoffs appear to be a direct result from Facebooks decision to de-prioritize news in its new algorithms. As video media increased exponentially in 2017, the opposite appears to be true for 2018. Bankoff mentions that native social video content,
“won’t be viable audience or revenue drivers for us relative to other investments we are making.”
This decision is extremely unfortunate for one of my personal favorite sports media sources, SB Nation. I have been a follower of SB Nation for years and this news comes as very surprising. I claim certain journalist from SB Nation as some of my go-to figures for information. SB Nation has produced some of the best college football podcast such as The Solid Verbal with Dan Rubenstein as well as Podcast Ain’t Played Nobody with football-gurus Bill Connelly and Steven Godfrey. Thankfully, none of those individuals appear to be part of these layoffs as of yet, but in honor of the fallen comrades, Godfrey has offered to pay the bar tab for any of his recently unemployed colleagues.
One of the significant layoffs was SB Nation newsdesk manager, Kurt Mensching, as he announced his layoff via twitter. After unionizing last year, the Voxunion appears to have done little good in keeping jobs for their sports journalists. Mensching claims to have been kept out of the Voxunion, through twitter.
Some have claimed this to be an effect of liberal-biased media diluting news. As ESPN has decreased in value, they have been accused of becoming increasingly outspoken in politics. This has been seen with Vox media members as well.
Regardless of politics being a possible cause, the massive decrease in sports media journalist is a travesty. Although Chairgatin’ is not employed by any company, this decline in industry jobs as well as increase in industry unemployment is not a good sign for my personal chances of future employment. I will continue to do my best to keep political opinions out of this site whether that is right or left. At Chairgatin’ we are determined to keep out head down and offer the best content possible. With one more sports media outlet off the list of possible career options, we look to you Barstool Sports, you’re our only hope.