Morning Media Newsfeed: Condé Ditches Interns | SpinMedia Cuts Staff | Layoffs at HuffPost

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Condé Nast Discontinuing Internship Program (WWD / Memo Pad) Condé Nast has decided to discontinue its internship program starting in 2014, WWD has learned. The end of the program comes after the publisher was sued this summer by two former interns who claimed they were paid below the minimum wage during internships at W and The New Yorker. The Guardian The pair suing Condé Nast claim the law was breached because the publisher was gaining an advantage from their labor. Lauren Ballinger, who worked at W magazine in 2009, compared her work there unfavorably with Anne Hathaway’s experience in the film The Devil Wears Prada, after she spent days packing accessories for editors. The other, Matthew Leib, said he was paid between $300 and $500 for the two summers he worked for the New Yorker‘s cartoon archives. FishbowlNY Condé isn’t the only media company brought to court over failing to pay interns. Gawker, Fox Searchlight and Hearst have all been sued for the same reason. The difference is that Condé has now taken the bold step of eliminating the issue completely. If you have no interns, there’s no way to get sued for not paying them. Gawker The media class comprises thousands of former unpaid interns, so you’re going to hear a lot about how their internships were so valuable, so demanding yet fulfilling — look at them now! — that they just can’t believe Condé would do such a thing. Gosh, kill their internship program! You’d think the company, and maybe the entire media industry, was closing down for good. BuzzFeed / Politics While the end of Condé Nast’s sought-after internship program might irk some job-seekers looking for a way into the media’s biggest names, advocates fighting to get interns paid say the elimination of internships at the company signals that there will be better opportunities for job seekers down the road.

SpinMedia to Slash Staff Again (NY Post)
SpinMedia, the digital celebrity and pop culture network that owns Vice and Spin, is expected to lay off 15 percent of its workforce, about 30 people, and cut loose about eight of its smaller websites. Chief executive Dale Strang told staffers Wednesday he planned to convert sites from owner-operated to partnerships — a move that will still keep them in the ad network but make them independent. Poynter / MediaWire “As you can expect, some of these changes involve personnel reductions,” Strang said. Management will be “communicating those changes” in meetings Wednesday. The company’s namesake publication (where I used to work) is losing several staffers. Strang mentions no specific number of layoffs. In addition to Spin, SpinMedia owns or sells ads for quite a few publications, including Vibe, The Frisky and Celebuzz. Poynter / MediaWire A.J. Daulerio is leaving SpinMedia, he confirms to Poynter in an email. The company named the former Gawker editor-in-chief to the role of editorial director in August. Billboard / Biz In an email, company spokesperson Julia Walker explained to Billboard.biz that the company is restructuring its relationship with several properties it owns. “We’re converting select sites from the SpinMedia collection from wholly-owned to partnerships, consolidating some of our back office functions and streamlining various other parts of our organization,” Walker said, in an effort to “focus on sites that matter most to entertainment-savvy millennials.”

Layoffs Hit Huffington Post Entertainment as Part of Restructuring (TheWrap)
Huffington Post laid off three of its television section reporters on Wednesday as part of its restructuring plans for its entertainment coverage. Maggie Furlong, Laura Prudom and Alex Moaba were laid off on Wednesday, their co-worker Maureen Ryan tweeted. “It’s been my great honor & privilege to work with @MaggieFurlong, @LauInLA & @AlexMoaba. If you’re hiring, hire them fast. They’re awesome,” Ryan wrote. An individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap that the layoffs may just be the beginning, and more are “expected” to hit the New York offices.