Politics, news and editorial video slashed in Mashable restructuring

20 reporters and editors reported to have been laid off, including executive editor Jim Roberts, a 27-year veteran of the New York Times. Hard to say what, precisely, is going on there, but it seems likely the site is “pivoting” (as the say in Silicon Valley) to 100% fluff and advertorial.

Mashable used to be a pretty good site for covering Internet technology and business. Then it tried to become a Buzzfeed clone, mixing serious news and frivolous memes and listicles. I don’t think it was successful at either.

My Spidey-sense tells me that it’s hit the final stage of death for a giant consumer-facing Web business, where the body is feeding on itself, maximizing traffic in any way that it can to maximize revenue in the short term before the investors cash in and shut the doors for good.

“Branded content is the business model for media going forward” [CEO Peter] Cashmore told staff. “It’s very, very clear that branded content is the future.”

In other words, “Advertisers dictate editorial policy here from now on. Any content that might offend our advertisers is forbidden.”

Asked about Mashable’s editorial focus, Cashmore compared it to old-school MTV, explaining that the site covers culture through the lens of technology the same way that the cable network once covered culture through the lens of music.

I don’t know what that means. I suspect it doesn’t mean anything.

Politics, news and editorial video slashed in Mashable restructuring [Peter Sterne and Hadas Gold – Politico]

Mashable video producer Nadja Oertelt was given the news while she was in Ohio for a video shoot, hours before the shoot was scheduled to begin, stranded without access to her company email so she couldn’t retrieve her itinerary homeward.

Mashable Axes At Least 20 Editorial Staffers As the Web Hurtles Towards Its Video Future [Jordan Sargent – Gawker]

Also:

Mashable executive editor Jim Roberts will leave the company and at least two dozen members of the site’s editorial staff will be laid off as part of a “strategic shift” toward video, CNNMoney has learned.

The layoffs, which will effectively deplete the site of its news editors and reporters, come one week after Mashable received a $15 million round in funding to build video content in partnership with Turner Broadcasting. (Turner is CNN’s parent company.)…

In a staff meeting, Mashable chief operating officer Mike Kriak said the site was “moving away from harder news” and toward an “entertaining digital culture,” two sources familiar with his remarks said.

Mashable lays off staff in ‘strategic shift’ toward video [Dylan Byers – CNNMoney]

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