Say Media has laid off 10% of its 400 staff as part of its transformation from an ad network to a “digital media company”, and moves its focus towards its content sites such as ReadWrite and Dogster. This move comes as other media companies such as AOL are trying to rpove the profitability of their content businesses.
Say Media is on track to become profitable in the second half of this year according to CEO and co-founder Matt Sanchez, with the company focusing on the verticals in which Say Media has already established a footing such as technology and entertainment.
Here’s the message that Sanchez sent out to Say Media employees:
This morning we had to say goodbye to some really talented Say Media employees and it was tough. It’s been a difficult day for all of us, and I know that many of you are feeling the absence of our colleagues and friends. We did not make these decisions lightly; each person that left today has contributed to our mission and will be missed.
Two and a half years ago, we set out on a course to build the media company of the future. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, and along the way the media landscape has continued to shift. We’ve navigated from ad network to media company while the transactional display market has commoditized on exchanges as predicted. We’ve invested heavily in this transformation, and are coming out the other side with a solid foundation for the future.
We have built out a world-class publishing platform, transformed our sales team, evolved our offering to content-led marketing programs and filled out our brand portfolio with talent and brands we are all very proud of. Our focus on Point-of-View content is working. Our brands are deeply engaging, growing communities of readers. The publishing platform on which these brands sit boasts a pipeline of new products that are poised to change the media landscape. And our advertising solutions are impressive and working hard for our marketing partners.
That said, the time is right for us to transition aggressively to continued growth with profitability. To that end, we’ve made a set of hard decisions aimed at right-sizing our business with a greater focus on supporting our strong content brands, growing sales and building innovative publishing and advertising products — while at the same time achieving profitability in the second half of this year.
Each and every one of you is incredibly important to what we are building at Say. Your passion, intelligence, energy and loyalty are what make this company and our culture so special. Today’s actions were painful but necessary for us to move forward, and I am confident we are on the right path to creating the media company of the future.
We’ll get together tomorrow for an All Hands, and I’ll share more detail about this action and our plans for the year. As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions.