Nov 13, 2023 - Business

Layoffs hit Recurrent Ventures following CEO shakeup

Illustration of the computer keys Ctrl and X`

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Recurrent Ventures, a venture equity-backed digital media rollup company, informed employees of a new round of layoffs on Monday.

Why it matters: The cuts come amid a volatile ad market and broader changes at the company. Recurrent named its third CEO in just three years last week.

Catch up quick: Recurrent has a portfolio of about 20 brands that include Popular Science, Domino, Bob Villa and others. Last year, it acquired Dwell and Business of Home. It sold its food website Saveur to the publication's longtime editor earlier this year.

  • Recurrent laid off 52 staffers in a round of layoffs last fall, per Adweek. It also folded Mel Magazine and cut its editorial staff of about 15 people last summer.

Details: Monday's layoffs have impacted multiple brands within Recurrent's portfolio.

  • A source tells Axios that 13 people working at Popular Science were cut, including editors who work across multiple brands. Only five editorial staffers and a few on the commerce team remain, the source said.
  • Axios is aware of at least two other Recurrent brands being impacted, with at least one layoff at The Drive and four at Domino.
  • It's unclear how many cuts were made in total.

What they're saying: Asked about the cuts, a Recurrent spokesperson told Axios that the layoffs occurred "within several brands and operational teams."

  • Asked to clarify, the spokesperson said, "Many brands were minimally impacted, with the bulk of the reduction in centralized support services."
  • "Like most media companies, Recurrent is adapting to the evolving landscape of its audience. Whether it's due to shifting patterns in social referrals or advertising budgets, it's clear that change is a consistent theme," the spokesperson said.
  • "While these decisions are challenging, they are necessary to ensure we remain profitable and are in a position to make investments essential to our growth," the spokesperson added.

The big picture: The layoffs are the latest in a string of cuts at various media companies that are grappling with a softer ad market.

  • Bloomberg Industry Group, an affiliate of Bloomberg L.P., laid off at least 14 employees on Monday.
  • Vice Media Group laid off under 100 staffers as it ended production of some shows and consolidated its businesses last week.
  • G/O Media suspended Jezebel and laid off 23 editorial staffers on Nov. 9.
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