Layoffs Hit Thrillist, 'Slate,' Bleacher Report, New Hires Promised

It may be Valentine’s Day, but employees at Group Nine Media, Slate and Bleacher Report aren’t feeling the love. Layoffs have recently hit the three digital news companies, where dozens have received pink slips.

Sports news site Bleacher Report let 50 employees go last week.

Group Nine Media, formerly known as Thrillist but now made up of NowThis, The Dodo and Seeker as well, has cut about 20 jobs, or around 4% of its workforce. Slate has laid off about a half dozen staffers.

Dave Finocchio, co-founder and CEO of Bleacher Report, noted the cuts were not a downsizing of the company. In fact, a $100 million investment from parent company Turner allowed it to fill 170 positions. Another 45 jobs are still open. Instead, most of the layoffs were related to user-generated content, per a company memo reported Adweek.

Finocchio added that Bleacher Report will invest in new roles in content, product/engineering, marketing and sales departments. He wrote the company has invested in real-time and social-first video, as well as developed a branded content team.

Also, layoffs affected the Thrillist editorial department. The company is planning to hire 100 to 200 people by the end of the year across Group Nine, including in Thrillist's editorial department.

Last fall, Discovery Communications invested $100 million in Group Nine, helping to fund the company’s brands’ sales teams and content studios and form a centralized, long-form video department to create OTT/on-demand and linear TV programming across all properties.

At Slate, full-time staffers and contract writers were let go, per The Huffington Post. Editor-in-chief Julia Turner notified staff of the cuts Monday. Slate is owned by the Graham Holdings Company, led by former Washington Post owner Donald Graham.

 Slate did not respond to requests for comment at press time.

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