TechCrunch to Shutter Subscription Service TC+ After Layoffs

The tech news site will wind down its paid program as it refocuses coverage amid staff cutbacks

Silicon Valley news site TechCrunch is ending its subscription product after laying off eight staffers this week, the publication said on Tuesday.

The subscription product TC+ will wind down as the site aims to refocus its coverage around the investors, founders and startups of Silicon Valley, Adweek reported, citing an internal memo.

“We are making strategic changes at TechCrunch to strengthen our core product and set up the business for the long term, including leaning more heavily into original reporting and content as well as sunsetting TechCrunch+ in the coming weeks,” a TechCrunch spokesperson said in a statement to TheWrap. “This shift is driven by our commitment to align team structure with forthcoming business needs and is not about cost-cutting.”

The layoffs, which included managing editor Matt Burns and tech journalist Darrell Etherington, come amid widespread cutbacks in both traditional and digital media in the first weeks of 2024. The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, Pitchfork, Forbes, NBC News, Time Magazine and Business Insider have all announced layoffs, following brutal cuts in 2023 that collectively saw over 2,600 journalism jobs vaporize.

About half the affected staff members at TechCrunch were in business operations, the report said.

Internet culture reporter Morgan Sung and and climate report Harri Weber were also let go.

“If u see me talking about my tc stories on tiktok know that i prerecorded them over the weekend lmao, content never sleeps, baby!” Sung posted on X after getting the news.

TechCrunch parent Yahoo has also handed out pink slips, Adweek noted, pledging last year to trim 1,000 jobs as it scaled back its advertising technology footprint.

TC+ launched in 2019 as ExtraCrunch, and was rebanded in 2021.

Subscriptions cost $15 per month or $89 per year. No subscriber data was made public, but the company said in September 2022 it had grown 142% year over year, with an 82% leap in revenue during the period, according to Adweek.

Subscription programs are also on the block industry-wide, with Time and Quartz both ending their digital subscriptions in recent years while Business Insider and Gannet have pared back on their paywalls, Adweek noted.

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