Sportswriters were hit hard by layoffs at Vox, which cut seven percent of its workforce — about 130 employees — on Friday.
“Unfortunately, in this economic climate, we’re not able to sustain projects and areas of the business that have not performed as anticipated, are less core to where we see the biggest opportunities in the coming years, or where we don’t have enough rationale to support ongoing investment in what could be a prolonged downturn,” Vox CEO Jim Bankoff wrote a memo to employees. “In spite of the dedication of the many talented people involved in these initiatives, we need to scale back.”
Throughout the day, a number of sportswriters announced their positions have been eliminated.
Nate Wilcox, the founding editor of the critically acclaimed MMA site Bloody Elbow, tweeted that he was laid off with “15 minutes notice.”
“Well, to this point I’ve dodged the emails and calls but apparently my luck has run out. My time at Vox has come to a close,” tweeted Anthony Irwin, who contributed to the Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll. “I have been extraordinarily blessed to head the pod team @LakersSBN, a site I’ve helped grow into the monster it is today.”
SB Nation was the initial arm of the whole Vox Media empire, which has now grown to include Vox, Eater, Recode, The Verge and Curbed. They even acquired the legacy outlet, New York Magazine. In recent years, the company has greatly deemphasized its sports ambitions.
Ryan Nanni, a college football personality who had an early big profile on social media with the Twitter handle CelebrityHotTub, announced he was out.
“Yup, got laid off today. Gonna miss working with all the talented folks at @secretbase but I know they’ll keep kicking ass,” Nanni tweeted.
“I’ve been let go by @SBNation / @voxmedia after 7+ years,” tweeted graphics creator Hector Diaz. “SB Nation had all-world talents throughout those years and it still does. I’m just happy to have played a small role in it.”
Kat Archer, a social media manager for SB Nation, said her time there had come to an end.
“i was part of today’s layoffs,” Archer tweeted. “we did a lot of good s–t in my 5+ years at sb nation and i’m really proud. social teams do so much more than people realize. they truly have their hand in every single part of a company. invest in your social team, then trust and believe in them.”
Tweeted hockey writer Steph Driver: “Today I have been laid off. I always thought I would leave Vox and SB Nation of my own accord, but today they chose to move away from hockey coverage. I don’t know what is next for me, I’m a little shellshocked tbh, but here we are. Steph Driver is on the market.”
Awful Announcing detailed that a number of SB Nation employees will cease managing a number of its team-specific hockey and soccer blogs, which now have an unclear future.