Comcast Casualty: Layoffs at DailyCandy

Pioneering e-media property kills seven local editions of e-newsletter, cuts six editors

Last Updated: December 6, 2009 @ 1:28 PM

Yesterday’s blockbuster Comcast-NBC Universal announcement was not entirely met with joy across Comcastville.

DailyCandy, the pioneering women’s e-newsletter that Comcast bought for a jawbreaking $125 million in 2008, announced that it will close seven of its localized city editions on Jan. 1 – resulting in six layoffs of in-market editors (one of them is relocating to New York’s Silicon Alley, where DailyCandy is based.

“This morning’s announcement about the new joint venture between Comcast and NBCU is very exciting,” Beth Ellard, DailyCandy’s SVP and GM, wrote in a memo to staffers. “And I believe DailyCandy will benefit from being part of the Comcast Entertainment Group in the future.

In present, however, we are dealing with hard realities in our business.

Below, via Gawker, the entire heartfelt memo.

[REDACTED]

Hi all –

This is a roller-coaster day for us at DailyCandy – with both highs and lows.

This morning’s announcement about the new joint venture between Comcast and NBCU is very exciting, and I believe DailyCandy will benefit from being part of the Comcast Entertainment Group in the future.

In present, however, we are dealing with hard realities in our business. 2009 has been a very challenging year for DailyCandy, and like most companies, we are operating under substantial resource constraints. To reach our 2010 strategic and financial goals, we need to focus on high-value, scalable opportunities. Next year, we are investing in new editorial initiatives, top-tier market subscriber growth, and state-of-the-art email and website capabilities.

Meeting our ambitious goals means making some hard choices, and unfortunately, this adversely affects some of our colleagues. Over the past two hours, we have communicated to the in-market editors in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, DC that come January 1, 2010, we are eliminating their positions. This has nothing to do with these editors’ performance; each of them has contributed in significant and important ways to DailyCandy. We thank them for their excellent work, dedication, and local expertise. We are doing everything we can to make their transition easier, including advance notice, a generous severance package, and the opportunity to continue as freelance Contributing Editors.

We are also eliminating the Miami in-market editor position. Brooke Siegel will relocate to New York City to take on a new editorial role. Dan Murphy will also relocate and continue on as Promotions Editor.

This is a lot of news to absorb, but I want to make a few additional points:

First, local content is still part of DailyCandy’s DNA. We will be expanding our local events and activities coverage across all eleven cities.  The subscribers in the seven affected cities will receive the Everywhere edition plus twice-weekly local events and activities guides.

Second, we are not eliminating these editorial headcount; we are redeploying them against new, more scalable editorial initiatives based in our New York City office. We see exciting growth opportunities in beauty, home entertaining, and mom-as-woman/mom-as-mom content. The resources regained through the changes today will help us do this.

We want to give you some time to digest this information; we’ll meet in the conference room at 3:15pm today to further discuss these changes and answer any questions.  Next week, at our monthly company meeting, we will provide you with more information about our 2010 strategic plan and budget.  Please come to me or your manager with any questions or concerns in the meantime.

I know this is a hard transition, but I’m confident we will get through it gracefully. We are on the right path for future success and sustainability.

Thank you.

Beth

Beth Ellard
SVP, General Manager
DailyCandy, Inc.
584 Broadway, Suite 510
New York, New York 10012