New York-based blog network Gawker Media continues to trim its staff after a big layoff round in October, MediaBistro reported Tuesday. A few more members of the editorial staff have been let go, and a few others have been downgraded to part-time employees.
"It's all part of the austerity plan we announced a month ago," Gawker Media founder Nick Denton said in an instant-message conversation. He added, "I don't make any apologies: we're going to need as big a cash pile as we can accumulate."
Denton has been particularly bearish on the fate of ad-supported media companies in the face of industrywide cutbacks, suggesting that online ad revenue may drop a full 40 percent and responding with fierce cost-cutting. Company revenue is strong--up 39 percent in November, Denton said--and traffic continues to grow. The company has a history of dealing with underperforming titles by simply selling them or shutting them down rather than letting them bleed cash. It's a strategy that has been called both ruthless and prudent.
In the scandal department (it's Gawker, after all): One of the employees MediaBistro reported was cut, Alex Carnevale, allegedly cribbed part of a blog post from his personal blog last week, if smaller media gossip blog Jossip is to be believed. Denton, however, said that wasn't part of the rationale behind his departure: Carnevale had been a temporary employee, serving one month on sci-fi blog IO9 and one on Gawker.
"He did some good stuff, and I'd like to try him out again," the company founder said.
Of more interest to the tech blogging world, Gawker recently slimmed down its Silicon Valley scandal title, Valleywag, opting to fold the brand into a column on Gawker.com instead.
A correction was made at 9:54 a.m. PT: ThisRecording is considered to be a personal blog that Alex Carnevale writes for with several other contributors, not an employer.