Funny Or Die has laid off an unspecified number of employees across multiple divisions within the company. The job cuts were announced to staff in a memo from CEO Mike Farah.
Farah placed the blame for the cuts on the same pressures many digital companies are feeling in the sector as competition for online dollars heats up.
Unfortunately, however, like a lot of other digital media companies, we’re facing tough challenges that we can no longer ignore, and so we must adapt, he wrote. We will still develop, produce, and sell premium comedy in a wide range of formats for a wide range of platforms, from short-form digital series to branded content and long-form television and everything in between.
This isn’t the first time Funny or Die has been through job cuts. In August 2016, the company cut 30% of its workforce, which saw more than 30 employees leave the company. After that round of layoffs, the company said it had 95 employees, though the number of bounced back up to 110 as of last fall.
Funny or Die was founded by CAA, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy. The company’s investors include AMC Networks and Sequoia Capital.
Read Fara’s full memo below:
Dear Funny Or Die Family,
There’s no good way to deliver news like this. The simple fact is that today we have to let go of some great people at Funny Or Die, and it sucks. These people are incredibly smart and talented, and they’ve represented the best of us and our creative spirit. Most important, they’re our friends.
Unfortunately, however, like a lot of other digital media companies, we’re facing tough challenges that we can no longer ignore, and so we must adapt.
It’s a testament to all our staff that we have such a strong company. We made some great comedy this year like Get Out (of the White House), The Shirtless Painter, The Earliest Show, Long Hair Businessman, Overly Excited Tourist, and Zack Morris is Trash, along with an impressive slate of TV like American Vandal, Brockmire, I Love You, America, No Activity, and The Chris Gethard Show.
Moving forward, we will keep making great comedy. Our website and ancillary platforms will continue to feature work by emerging comedians and longtime friends and family. We will still develop, produce, and sell premium comedy in a wide range of formats for a wide range of platforms, from short-form digital series to branded content and long-form television and everything in between. We’ll keep producing all the same edgy social content every single day. With an audience of 52 million people and growing, we are not going anywhere for a long time.
I’d like to express my sincere thanks to everyone we’ve had to let go. We’re very proud of all your amazing creative work; it’s our business model that has to change. I’d also like to thank our board members, who have been incredibly supportive throughout this process, and are fully behind the new plan.
For those staffers who are moving forward with us, over the next few days we’ll be holding a series of meetings with individual departments, followed by an all-hands on Friday afternoon. We’ll explain exactly what these changes mean for you, and discuss in-depth the future direction of the company. We’re committed to being both respectful and transparent.