Media Insider: More Industry Layoffs, Slate Reports its Best Year

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.

Bustle Digital Group Lays Off Fatherly Team, Part of Its Parenting Portfolio
Adweek | Mark Stenberg

Bustle Digital Group (BDG) laid off all seven of its full-time editorial staff at its title Fatherly and will significantly decrease its editorial output going forward, according to two people familiar with the matter. The decision marks the latest in a series of retrenchments from BDG, which over the last two years has sunset titles including Gawker and Input while clearing house at Mic. Last month, the digital media company also let go of nine full-time employees across Romper, Bustle, and Elite Daily, which had not previously been reported.

Paramount also announced hundreds of layoffs after losing more than $1 billion last year at its streaming division.

SiriusXM Cuts 160 Jobs Amid Push to Become More Efficient, Agile
Hollywood Reporter | Caitlin Huston

SiriusXM is laying off less than 3% of its workforce, or about 160 positions, as the company reorganizes to promote future subscriber growth. In a memo to employees, CEO Jennifer Witz said the layoffs will allow the company to become “more efficient, agile, and flexible.” As of December 31, 2023, the company reported having 5,680 full-time and part-time employees. In March 2023, the company said it was laying off 475 people, or about 8% of its workforce, as Witz said the company was rethinking its cost structure in an “uncertain economic environment” to “maintain a sustainably profitable company.”

The audio industry is being hit with new rounds of job cuts and cost-cutting measures.

CBS News Digital Staffers Vote to Unionize
MediaPost | Ray Schultz

Writers and editors at CBS News Digital have unionized with the Writer’s Guild of America East (WGAE), and are asking management to recognize it. The purpose is to conduct collective bargaining. The union will cover workers at, its mobile website, social media channels, and the CBS News app. The union says that an overwhelming majority of the staff signed union cards. The union hopes to address transparency, equitable and fair compensation, and benefits, diversity, and editorial standards. The union recently won its first collective bargaining agreement at MSNBC and a second contract with CBS News Streaming.

Also from MediaPost: Dotdash Meredith achieved a 9% digital surge in Q4.

Slate reports best year
Semafor | Max Tani

Amid a difficult year for news media last year, at least one legacy digital media company has quietly been moving in the other direction. Katie Rayford, a spokesperson for Slate, told Semafor that 2023 was the most profitable year in the digital media company’s 27-year history. According to Rayford, Slate’s revenue grew 28% year-over-year through a series of investments and growth in its core businesses, which revolve around its podcasts and website. The gains in subscription and ad revenue allowed the company to make its first acquisition in years: the popular podcast Death, Sex & Money, which was canceled by WNYC last year as the local broadcaster faced its own financial struggles.

Read next: Six months in, journalist-owned tech publication 404 Media is profitable.

Daily Beast Media Newsletter ‘Confider’ Likely Dead After Editor at Large Departs
The Wrap | Natalie Korach

The Daily Beast put its scoop-driven media newsletter Confider on hiatus just weeks after editor at large Lachlan Cartwright, who steered the newsletter, departed the outlet. But two sources with knowledge of the situation say hiatus is too gentle a word and said the newsletter could instead be “dead.” On Monday, the newsletter read in small text that “Confider is going on hiatus after today’s issue.” The loss of Confider will be a blow to The Daily Beast. Cartwright started Confider nearly two years ago with help from The Daily Beast media team, including editor Andrew Kirell, and reporters Justin Baragona and Corbin Bolies. It quickly became a must-read for media news obsessives. The newsletter consistently broke forward-looking scoops and was insidery and well-sourced, often influencing other outlets’ reporting on the industry.

ICYMI: The Arena Group hopes to reach an agreement that would allow it to continue producing Sports Illustrated.

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Maria Perez is director of web operations at Cision. In her spare time, she enjoys gaming, watching too much TV, and chasing squirrels with her dog Cece.

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