There have been several rounds of layoffs at Yahoo in the last few years, with big cuts in the spring and early summer of 2017, 800 Verizon Media Group employees let go in January 2019, and further layoffs of 150 people this past December, including long-time writer and editor Kevin Kaduk, all four writers hired for the never-launched Mets site, and several writers from Yahoo Sports Canada. The past two weeks have seen further U.S. cuts, including Amanda Borges and Brandon Velaski, and Freddy Mayhew of the U.K.-based journalism publication Press Gazette wrote Thursday that the whole Yahoo Sport UK editorial team has now been laid off:
Yahoo Sports has made its entire UK editorial team redundant as it focuses on US sports coverage.
Press Gazette understands six editorial staff have left as a result including head of sport Raj Mannick who joined from ITN in 2018.
…Journalists were told there was no longer any need for a sports team in the UK as the company was “putting all their efforts” on the US side, according to one source.
…A Yahoo Sports spokesperson said: “At Yahoo Sports we are thankful for the contributions the team has made as we continue to focus our efforts on creating the best experience for our fans on mobile.
“We are aligning our resources to opportunities where we feel we can differentiate ourselves and can scale faster to deliver a best in class experience to our fans.”
Yahoo is far from the only sports media brand with big recent layoffs; there have also been notable cuts at iHeartMedia, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, The Players’ Tribune, and other sites since the start of 2019. But it’s interesting to see the entire sports editorial staff laid off at one of Yahoo’s country-specific sites, and this move in particular is contrary to the increased UK investment we’re seeing from The Athletic. And while the Yahoo Sport UK site is still live, it only contains content from wire services and other syndication partners now, and while that will still draw some traffic, it’s easy to see traffic declines coming now that there’s no original content there.
Perhaps that doesn’t matter too much if they’re “putting all their efforts” on the U.S. side (where they are working to expand their recently-launched Sportsbook), but it’s certainly notable to see the total exit from the UK. A Yexit, even.