Digital Publisher Mic Announces Mass Layoffs Amid Sales Talks

It's not known exactly how many staffers were let go

Mic announced mass layoffs today.
Facebook, Mic

Mass layoffs were announced to Mic staffers at an all-hands-on-deck meeting Thursday morning.

Sources told Adweek on Wednesday that Mic was in talks to be sold and that the digital news organization might find new owners in Bustle Digital Group or its founder, Bryan Goldberg.

Details of any deal are not yet known, but the organization can offer up its custom CMS and archives. It’s also not yet clear what might otherwise happen to the nearly seven-year-old company or to its New York-based headquarters at One World Trade Center.

Many requests for comment to multiple Mic executives—including to CEO and co-founder Chris Altchek, co-founder and editor-at-large Jake Horowitz and publisher Cory Haik—have gone unanswered. Mic’s spokesperson, Caitlyn Carpanzano Durcan, confirmed the layoffs and offered no additional comment.

Carpanzano Durcan would not say how many were laid off, but the company is left with a skeleton crew after sources say the entire editorial team was laid off as well as the branded content team. The product team was spared, our sources say.

Staffers, which hovered around 100, were left to mull over their fate and tweet the lack of communication from the company on Twitter Wednesday night, amid whispers of a sale and layoffs as well as being expected to show up to work to face an unknown fate this morning.

Sources told Adweek that the looming cancellation of its flailing Facebook Watch program, Mic Dispatch, put the news organization in desperate financial straits.

Sources said Mic Dispatch could have potentially been worth millions over the long term, but only launched in July in the form of what Mic dubbed a twice-weekly “newsmagazine” program. Recent episodes seemed to garner between 80,000 to 455,000 views.

Other publishers that made extensive investments in and relied heavily on social media for distribution, including LittleThings, which briefly shut down earlier this year. In the case of Mic.com, comScore shows the site’s unique monthly visitors plummeting from 18 million in October 2015 to 5.5 million last month.

Adweek technology reporter Kelsey Sutton, a former Mic reporter, contributed to this report.