Difficult Road Ahead for Digital Media in 2018 as Refinery29 Lays Off Nearly 10% of Staff
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Difficult Road Ahead for Digital Media in 2018 as Refinery29 Lays Off Nearly 10% of Staff

Difficult Road Ahead for Digital Media in 2018 as Refinery29 Lays Off Nearly 10 of Staff

Media firm Refinery29 has conducted a series of layoffs, as the digital media industry faces advertising headwinds. The women’s lifestyle website has let go of 34 employees, which made up about 7% of its staff, a spokeswoman confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

“This year has been especially challenging for digital media and advertising companies,” read a statement from the company. “Refinery29 has seen tremendous growth but is not immune to some of the negatives that this growth brings. As such, the team has made a difficult decision to part ways with 34 members of the team in an effort to make an investment in the future of the company.”

Refinery29 has over 400 employees around the world. It has raised more than $125 million from investors, which include Turner and Scripps Networks. The company currently has around 500 million users.

The digital media industry is currently facing a slump. Mashable was recently sold to Ziff Davis for what is reported to be well below its past valuation of $250 million.

Meanwhile, Vice and BuzzFeed are both expected not to meet their revenue projections this year. BuzzFeed also recently let go of around 100 employees as it reorganized its advertising and sales teams.

“The media is in crisis,” BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti wrote in a letter published Dec. 12 that pointed to the dominance of Facebook and Google in the digital advertising industry and the impact that has had on digital media companies producing content distributed on other platforms.

“As a leadership team, we must ensure the enduring success and influence of Refinery29 in the years ahead,” they wrote in the memo, which was provided to CNNMoney. “And, in this particular moment that means tightening our belt in order to invest in the future.”

Business Insider obtained the following memo issued to the Refinery29 staff on Thursday morning by co-CEOs Philippe von Borries and Justin Stefano:

“This year has been a challenging one, not just politically and socially, but as it relates to the worlds of media and advertising. Yet, even in this difficult span of time, our business has grown, we actively diversified, and the Refinery29 brand and its expansive impact have never been more palpable, something all of you have made possible.

We are not immune to the challenges and tough decisions that come with adapting to this turbulent moment in time, despite our growth and momentum. As a leadership team, we must ensure the enduring success and influence of Refinery29 in the years ahead. And, in this particular moment that means tightening our belt in order to invest in the future. The consequence of this decision means we will part ways with 34 members of our team, or approximately 7.5% of our workforce.

This was a hard choice that we understand will have impact. Those R29’ers that will be leaving us have poured an incredible amount of heart, skill, and dedication into their roles here. We care about each one of them deeply, and we could not be more grateful and proud of everything they have accomplished and brought to Refinery29 during their time with us.”

Megha Shah
Megha Shah
A dreamer, traveler, aspiring entrepreneur and a bookworm beyond repair, Megha Shah is extremely fond of writing and has been doing so since she was a child. Apart from being a part-time writer, Megha is currently in college, pursuing B. Com. (Hons). Megha is an ardent follower of ‘Hardship, Hustle and Heart’ and firmly believes in the power of hard work and destiny!

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