The Outline built itself on being “weird.” But is it weird enough to survive?

There are some sites that everyone roots for. Scrappy, beloved. See: The Awl. The Toast. Or not so scrappy, but beloved still. See: Grantland. When they shut down, people mourn them. Then there’s The Outline. In April 2016, Joshua Topolsky wrote a Medium post entitled “Your media business will not be saved.” Topolsky, the cofounder of The Verge, had left his position as Bloomberg’s top digital editor several months before. “Your problem,” he told his fellow media people, “is that you make shit”:
A lot of shit. Cheap shit. And no one cares about you or your cheap shit. And an increasingly aware, connected, and mutable audience is onto your cheap shit. They don’t want your cheap shit. They want the good shit. And they will go to find it somewhere. Hell, they’ll even pay for it. The truth is that the best and most important things the
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Upworthy just laid off 31 people. The question remains why.

Good Media Group, which owns viral site Upworthy and Good Magazine, cut at least 31 employees yesterday. The layoffs were first announced on Thursday afternoon in a tweet from editor-in-chief Liz Heron, who said she is also resigning. Upworthy CEO Charlie Wilkie also resigned Thursday, and Upworthy cofounder Eli Pariser said in a tweeted statement that he’d resigned from his board position last week.

The New York Daily News slashes half its editorial team (and it’s not alone)

“If you hate democracy and think local governments should operate unchecked and in the dark, then today is a good day for you.” That was a tweet at 1:40 a.m. this morning from Jim Rich. A little later, he changed his Twitter bio, which had read “Editor-in-Chief at NY Daily News,” to “Just a guy sitting at home watching journalism being choked into extinction.” The Daily News layoff rumors proved true on Monday morning when Tronc, the Daily News’ parent company, announced it’s laying off 50 percent of the paper’s editorial team (which was already down to about 85) and “refocusing much of our talent on breaking news — especially in areas of crime, civil justice and public responsibility.”

Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Reportedly on Its Last Legs After Another Brutal Round of Layoffs

Glenn Beck’s media empire is continuing to crumble. According to a Daily Beast report, jobs are being slashed at TheBlaze and there are signs that Beck’s woes are not over. In addition to the more than a dozen employees reported fired this week, it appears a buyer who expressed interest in Beck’s media venture has backed out, leaving TheBlaze now down to less than 50 employees and with no clear infusion of cash in the foreseeable future. The Daily Beast reports:
A potential lifeboat in the form of a proposed sale to the billionaire owners of conservative commentator Ben Shapiro’s website The Daily Wire now appears unlikely. A source familiar with the negotiations told The Daily Beast that talks between the two parties broke down and the sale is now effectively dead.
TheBlaze has gone through a number of rounds of layoffs in recent years, including one that Beck Continue reading "Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Reportedly on Its Last Legs After Another Brutal Round of Layoffs"

Vox Media Announces Layoffs of About 50 Staffers

In a huge stripdown of many of its verticals as well as its native social video operation, Vox Media is laying off about 50 employees, according to an internal email from the company’s CEO, Jim Bankoff. “Today is one of the toughest days we’ve had as a company,” Bankoff wrote. “As a result of our decision to wind down certain initiatives, we’ll be saying goodbye to some of our talented colleagues who have made valuable contributions to our success.” Bankoff elaborated that the layoffs would mostly affect company verticals Racked (which focuses on fashion), Curbed (on real estate and city living), and SB Nation (on sports). Further, the teams that will be affected were meeting and exceeding company goals, but were not, in the company’s Continue reading "Vox Media Announces Layoffs of About 50 Staffers"

Post-Facebook News Feed tweaks, Vox Media lays off 50 employees

Publishers’ pivot to video appears to have become a pivot to layoffs. And not even the biggest and most successful of digital-native companies is safe. Vox Media, one of the many companies that embraced social video over the past two years, said Wednesday that it will lay off 50 employees, approximately five percent of its workforce, The Hollywood Reporter’s Jeremy Barr first reported. The layoffs will affect its Racked, Curbed, and SBNation sites, as well as its video services division, which produces content designed to live on social platforms. In a memo sent to staffers this morning, CEO Jim Bankoff blamed the layoffs on “industry changes over the past few months,” presumably referring to Facebook’s recent decision to reduce the percentage of News Feed content from publishers’ pages. While Vox Media’s native social video efforts “were growing successfully and surpassing their audience growth goals,” Bankoff wrote, “those initiatives won’t be Continue reading "Post-Facebook News Feed tweaks, Vox Media lays off 50 employees"

Slow News: How Taking the Time to Listen and Focus Can Help Journalism’s Future

I’ll admit that I’ve previously been skeptical about ideas of digital detoxes and media fasts. Instead, I’ve subscribed to Clay Shirky’s maxim: “It’s not information overload, it’s filter failure.” But, last week, whilst attending the 2017 International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy, I began to change my mind. Sitting in a beautiful, cool, stone courtyard, sipping espresso and surrounded by promotional material for a local Slow Food festival, I began to sketch out some thoughts for a panel on Slow News that I had been asked to contribute to. Ensconced in this relaxing environment, I quickly identified several reasons why news consumers, content creators and managers, could all benefit from taking their foot off the gas… Just a little bit.

Consumption

Photo by Kaboompics and used with Creative Commons license.

My trip corresponded with large bouts of digital abstinence. This was unintended. Six flights in six days,
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