Vox Media 220

Vox Media, which owns brands including Eater, SB Nation, PopSugar, Thrillist, The Verge and New York Magazine, among others, is cutting seven percent of its workforce. The layoffs, which will impact about 130 employees, will impact several of its podcasts especially at its sports-focused SB Nation site.

Viola Nation, SB Nation's six-year old podcast on Italian soccer, said in a post that they were canceled as of Feb. 28 along with all of its other soccer and hockey-focused content. A memo it shared from Vox Publisher Melissa Bell explained the decision was based on slower ad sales.

“Over the last few months, we’ve been monitoring the impact the overall economic downturn has had on advertising based industries like ours,” Bell wrote. “You probably will not be surprised to hear that Vox Media has been experiencing a downturn alongside others in the media and tech industries and therefore had to make some careful and difficult decisions. Unfortunately, we have made the decision to pull back coverage in some areas across our network, and many of communities’ podcasts will be impacted.”

Vox CEO Jim Bankoff said that the company would put more of its focus on its core business, with cuts in its editorial and operations teams alike. “We need to scale back,” he wrote in a memo to staff. “Unfortunately, in this economic climate, we’re not able to sustain projects and areas of the business that have not performed as anticipated, are less core to where we see the biggest opportunities in the coming years, or where we don’t have enough rationale to support ongoing investment in what could be a prolonged downturn.

The Writers Guild of America-East, which represents unionized employees, said in a Twitter post that it is “furious at the way the company has approached these layoffs, and are currently discussing how to best serve those who just lost their jobs.”

The layoffs follow Vox Media’s merger last year with Group Nine, which added brands such as Thrillist and PopSugar to its portfolio. Following the merger, Vox last year cut about three percent of its workers.