The Young Turks laid off at least five employees this week, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to TheWrap on Thursday. Among the departures were Nomiki Konst and Hannah Cranston — who had both been prominent on-air talents with the company.
In a statement, the company declined to confirm any specific numbers and instead lamented the “difficult decisions” required for growth.
TYT Network has continued to see tremendous growth in audience size and engagement, as well as business partnerships and sponsorships. From time to time we are faced with difficult decisions as we grow into our larger size, influence, and reach. We truly respect our colleagues as people and as professionals, which makes personnel changes difficult, even when necessary to move the company into the next phase of our evolution.
Konst, who served as an investigative reporter for the left-leaning network since 2016, told colleagues in a terse email obtained by TheWrap that she was “moving on.” In a Facebook post, she elaborated.
“Thank you to those who trusted me to share their stories. These were special stories to cover at a significant time,” she wrote. “It’s been the greatest privilege working as a correspondent for The Young Turks.”
On the same day, Hannah Cranston, who served as host and executive producer of the Young Turk’s program “ThinkTank,” tweeted that she was also leaving.
“After nearly 4 amazing years,I am moving on from ThinkTank and The Young Turks,” said Cranston. “I can’t tell you all how much I have appreciated your support.”
“Love and gratitude,” Cranston added with two heart emojis.
LIFE UPDATE‼️ pic.twitter.com/vil84uxV6E
— HannahCranston.eth (@HannahCranston) June 14, 2018
Cranston and Konst declined to comment for this story.
While layoffs in the media business are nothing new, the high-level departures come less than a year after the Young Turks raised $20 million and revealed aggressive plans to double their existing staff from 100 to 200 employees.
“We’ve got the content side figured out pretty well, ranked No. 1 in the news vertical in all the rankings, but it’s time to build out the rest of the business,” Cenk Uygur, the site’s co-founder and most prominent personality, told Business Insider at the time.
In more recent months, the site has been buffeted by public relations issues, including TheWrap’s report that in a blog in the early 2000s, Uygur made disparaging remarks toward women, including saying they were genetically “flawed” because they don’t want to have sex often enough.
That was followed by scrutiny of Uygur’s nephew Hasan Piker, who raised eyebrows for many of his past statements on the network, including advice to men looking to become aspiring pickup artists.