Mashable Is Firing Employees as Website Shifts Focus to Videoby
Top editor, advertising executive leave as part of shake-up
Former Turner Broadcasting official named top revenue officer
Mashable Inc. is firing an unspecified number of employees as the Internet media company shifts its focus to video entertainment from politics and world news.
Executive Editor Jim Roberts, formerly with the New York Times, and ex-Times advertising executive Seth Rogin, Mashable’s chief revenue officer, are leaving as part of a reorganization, the company said in a statement Thursday. Mashable employs 325 people globally.
Mashable “must part ways with some of our colleagues in order to focus our efforts,” founder and Chief Executive Officer Peter Cashmore said in the statement.
The company’s recent $15 million fund-raising via Time Warner Inc.’s Turner division and other investors pointed to the new direction. Mashable will work with Turner’s TBS and TNT channels to develop and distribute video content, as well as collaborate on new technology and advertising opportunities.
The website needs to “talk in a singular voice wherever our brand appears,” Cashmore said in a note to staff. Mashable will move away from covering world news and politics and focus more on “our core coverage” of technology, web culture, science social media, entertainment, business and lifestyle, he said.
Mashable has hired Ed Wise, a former advertising executive at the website “Funny or Die” and Turner Broadcasting, to be its new chief revenue officer. The company also named Greg Gittrich, formerly with NBC News Digital and Vocativ, to “unify our voice across all platforms and infuse data into our creative process.”
Mashable said it will use the latest funding round to expand its video offerings, including some for traditional TV, and enhance its advertising capabilities. Earlier this month, the company said it will make four short-form web series with NBCUniversal’s Bravo, agreeing to work for the first time with a traditional TV network on a slate of shows.
Mashable, founded in 2005, created an in-house video unit last year to produce series for its website, social networks and a growing list of companies interested in short-form video. As advertisers spend more on online video, digital media companies like Mashable, BuzzFeed and Vox Media are investing in video to attract funding and work in traditional television, with its massive reach and lucrative advertising.