Snapchat Shuts Down Its Own Video Channel, Eliminating Staff

  • Cuts include former Fox comedy executive Marcus Wiley
  • Move leaves 15 Discover channels from partners in mobile app

Snapchat Inc. is eliminating its own channel for the company’s nine-month-old Discover video feature, cutting staff and leaving content production for the section to media partners.

The social-media company began hosting short-video channels on its mobile application from such providers as ESPN and Comedy Central in January. Snapchat also started its own channel in an effort to determine what kind of formats and stories are optimum, the Los Angeles-based company said by e-mail on Tuesday. Vertical videos work best on mobile, for example--information that Snapchat passed along to partners. 

Now Snapchat has “decided to move in a different direction,” the startup said. The cuts include Marcus Wiley, a former Fox executive who led development of comedies including “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project.”

“This decision is very much separate from his abilities,” said Mary Ritti, a spokeswoman for Snapchat. “This is simply a change in focus on our part.”

Snapchat shares in advertising sales for the 15 channels of partner-produced video in the Discover section and no longer will need to spend money or time on its own programming. The move doesn’t mean Snapchat has given up on original content long-term, Ritti said.

Snapchat, with more than 100 million active users, was valued at $16 billion in its latest funding round, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

The job cuts came the same day as Twitter Inc. eliminated as many as 336 positions, mostly in the engineering and product departments.

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