Mic.com laid off staffers on Thursday in what is part of a larger pivot to video that it will begin later this month.
The millennial-news site said in a memo circulated among staffers that it would lay off 25 people, primarily from its news and editorial departments this morning amid a larger reorganization of the company.
“We made these tough decisions because we believe deeply in our vision to make Mic the leader in visual journalism and we need to focus the company to deliver on our mission,” founder Chris Altchek wrote.
Altchek said visual journalism makes up “75% of the time our audience spends with Mic,” and said that the new strategy would realign resources behind the new market of ‘tap stories,’ which he hopes will distinguish Mic from competitors.
“As new platforms emerge and existing platforms continue to grow, we believe this will become a dominant form of news consumption for our audience,” he wrote.
Mic will hold an all-hands meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss the changes.
Some staffers have speculated about layoffs since the company announced it would hold a daylong meeting on August 24 to discuss the future of the company.
Several Mic staffers tweeted they’d been laid off Thursday morning.
Today was my last day at Mic, which means I'm looking for other writing opportunities. Let me know if you know of any!
— Marie Solis (@msolis14) August 17, 2017
Well, i just got laid off at Mic. If you know of any positions in gaming tech media hit me up
— Jake ???????????????????? (@jacobkleinman) August 17, 2017
Two staffers told Business Insider that the company had promised during a company meeting last week that there would not be layoffs.
Over the past several weeks, Mic has begun to restructure its newsroom, laying off its vice president of content and shifting editorial staff into “cross-functional pods” and “correspondent-driven journalism.”
The goal, according to a company memo sent last week, would begin “integrating our written and video journalism, to continue our leadership in pioneering new forms of visual journalism.”
Mic hasn’t exactly kept its intentions secret.
Site publisher Cory Haik published an op-ed in Recode on August 7 evangelizing the “early stages of a visual revolution in journalism,” arguing that “new mixed-media formats in social video (primarily short- and mid-form) offer a rich opportunity to deliver complicated news in compelling ways.”
And earlier this year, the company officially hired former Vevo and Nielsen executive Jonathan Carson to serve as the company’s president. Just last week Mic announced it was hiring Viacom’s Sarah Iooss as its executive vice president of revenue. Both have extensive experience in video.
Mic had announced earlier this year that it had raised a $21 million in an additional round of funding, bringing its fundraising total to $52 million since its launch in 2011.
The changes come amid a larger shift by a number of publishers away from text toward video.
Over the past several months, companies like MTV, Vice editorial, and Vocativ have laid off written editorial staff, to focus resources on short-form video content.