It’s a dark day for Vocativ and those working at Yahoo’s sites. Vocativ, which explores the deep web and has a couple of sports writers, has laid off its entire editorial staff. Yahoo has let go of several writers, including staff at HuffPost and and its sports sites as Verizon takes over the company and rolls several of its divisions into one called Oath. Expected are layoffs in the neighborhood of 2,100 employees.
At Vocativ, sports writer Joe Lemire let people know that he was among the cuts:
Vocativ has terminated its editorial team, and I am a free agent, effective immediately. I'd love to write for all of you. Email in bio.
— Joe Lemire (@LemireJoe) June 14, 2017
The cuts at Vocativ are part of an organization decision to shift the company into video only rather than written stories. An announcement was made to the staff through an internal e-mail:
This means that we will be phasing out written stories. We want to assure you this is not a decision we made lightly given the impact it will have on the team. On behalf of our entire leadership team, I want to personally thank each and every one of you for your contributions and for the dedication and distinction with which you have served our audiences.
Vocativ has been partnering with Showtime on the Dark Net series, which completed its first season and is in production for a second. Dark Net was cited that in the e-mail.
While editor-in-chief Ben Reininga will remain in his position, the rest of the editorial staff will leave. Here are the names who were let go:
A lot of wonderful and talented people got laid off at Vocativ today.
Here's all their contact info. Hire them: https://t.co/oQMun8JLJg
— Ryan Beckler (@RyanBeckler) June 14, 2017
Vocativ released a statement and discussed its future mission statement:
We will distribute via social channels and platforms, as well as through partnerships with television networks, OTT players and others. Our new programming and partnerships — which we will reveal in more detail in the coming weeks — will be exclusive, global and technology-driven, focusing on both historical features and current events, as well as on subject areas in which we can deploy our IoT and deep web analytics technology, such as raw, unsceipted series and sports programming.
As for Yahoo, staffers at its various sites are being laid off as Verizon completes its acquisition and folds various companies into one called “Oath”:
— Yahoo Inc. (@YahooInc) June 13, 2017
And this has hit Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie site, as Kelly Dwyer announced that he is no longer part of the staff:
Today I was told I'll no longer be writing for the greatest website in the world, @YahooBDL. It was my dream job, I wanted it for life.
— Kelly Dwyer (@KDonhoops) June 14, 2017
UPDATE: Yahoo long-time fantasy writer Brandon Funston has revealed he has been let go as well:
My 13-year run w/ Yahoo has come to an end – blessed to work w/ great people & had many unforgettable moments – What's next? Stay tuned
— Brandon (@BrandonFunston) June 14, 2017
At HuffPost, 39 union employees were let go. The Writers Guild of America, East issued a statement on behalf of the staff. And last month, two editors at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy site were let go.
It’s tough for anyone to lose their jobs and these are not the only media-related cuts. Time, Inc. plans to cut some 300 positions or four percent of its workforce either through layoffs or buyouts. It’s not known if this will effect Sports Illustrated, which also laid off staff last month, including college basketball writer Seth Davis.
As media companies wade through some rough waters, editorial staffs are being hit hard. And it’s leaving some established writers without jobs.