Mashable’s shift toward video sends news staff packing

mashable turner video deal pete cashmore ceo sxsw
Ståle Grut / NRKbeta / Flickr
Mashable is moving toward video content — and moving on from certain staff members.

A week after announcing a $15 million funding round that looks to expand storytelling to television, among other platforms, Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore (pictured) revealed layoffs and shake-ups.

Affected employees were notified today of the changes, and then Cashmore followed up with a company memo that he later posted on LinkedIn. The CEO made it clear that the recent funding, which includes a new partnership with Turner Broadcasting, means a shift in strategy — one that unfortunately led to certain staff members having to clear out their desks.

The layoffs hit the editorial and global news teams hard, according to CNN Money, with numerous news editors and reporters being let go. Politico reports that some 30 staff members were laid off, including the entire politics desk, much of the global news desk, and roughly half of the editorial video team.

“We are now equally adept at telling stories in text and video, and those stories now live on social networks, over-the-top services and TV. Our ads live there too, with branded content now at the center of our ad offering,” wrote Cashmore in the memo. “To reflect these changes, we must organize our teams in a different way. Unfortunately this has led us to a very tough decision. Today we must part ways with some of our colleagues in order to focus our efforts.”

Cashmore further explained that the company plans to shift away from “covering world news and politics as standalone channels,” hence the layoffs in those areas. Moving forward, Mashable will apparently cover such stories “from a digital angle.” The CEO added that the company will increase its focus on its “core coverage,” including technology, Web culture, science, social media, entertainment, business, and lifestyle.

The changes meant the exit of Mashable chief revenue officer Seth Rogin, executive editor Jim Roberts, managing editor Jonathan Ellis, and business editor Heidi Moore, according to Politico sources. Meanwhile, Cashmore announced that Greg Gittrich, formerly of Vocativ, and Ed Wise previously of Turner Broadcasting, have been brought on board as chief content officer and chief revenue officer, respectively.

Big changes are clearly in store for Mashable as its new strategy are implemented. It will be interesting to see the results of the new partnership, but we certainly feel for those who were let go.

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