Mic Lays Off 25 Employees in Pivot to Video

Majority of cuts in editorial staff at millenial-oriented outlet

Mic has laid off 25 employees as part of a pivot to video content, the millenial-oriented news outlet announced on Thursday.

Most of the layoffs came from the site’s editorial staff, but the cuts affected all departments. Mic CEO Chris Altchek sent a memo to staff informing them of the layoffs and strategic shift on Thursday.

“We made these tough decisions because we believe deeply in our vision to make Mic the leader in visual journalism and we need to focus the company to deliver on our mission,” Altchek wrote. “Visual journalism already makes up 75% of the time that our audience spends with Mic. As new platforms emerge and existing platforms continue to grow, we believe this will become a dominant form of news consumption for our audience.”

The site’s shift to short-form video has been in the works for months. Last week, publisher Cory Haik wrote an op-ed for Recode declaring a “visual revolution” in journalism.

“What the market is showing, and what I fundamentally believe, is that viewers want to immerse themselves in a visual story that makes use of the full range of creative techniques afforded by the tiny little computer in their hand that’s connected to the internet,” Haik wrote.

Staffers have reportedly been privately speculating about layoffs since the company scheduled a day-long all-hands meeting for next week to discuss the future direction of Mic. However, Business Insider reports that employees had previously been promised no layoffs were coming.

Mic becomes the latest digital media company to announce cuts to its editorial staff and a shift to video content in recent months, following in the footsteps of MTV News, Vice and Vocativ.

A few former Mic employees took to Twitter on Thursday to announce that they’re no longer with the company and are open for other opportunities.

Read Altchek’s full memo below:

Team,

Today, we had to say goodbye to 25 very talented colleagues and friends on our full time team. We have done our best to ensure the path forward for each affected individual is as smooth as possible. Saying goodbye to colleagues is difficult, and we’re very grateful for all of their contributions to Mic.

We made these tough decisions because we believe deeply in our vision to make Mic the leader in visual journalism and we need to focus the company to deliver on our mission. Visual journalism already makes up 75% of the time that our audience spends with Mic. As new platforms emerge and existing platforms continue to grow, we believe this will become a dominant form of news consumption for our audience. Our strategy to realign our resources behind this new market of ‘tap stories,’ in which we are already winning, will set us apart. In addition, we remain confident about our ability to succeed with extensions into the premium video space and already see strong traction with those efforts.

I have never been more optimistic about Mic’s future and potential. Having recently completely our Series C financing, Mic is in the strongest financial position in the company’s history.

Please join me for an all-hands at 3:00 p.m. to discuss further and to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for your continued energy, focus and commitment to Mic.

Chris