Delete. Delete. Delete.
Well, it happened.
On Thursday, Mashable, the place you go to find out whether your dog is popular or to hear abortion stories, laid off all the editorialings in the immediate wake of Turner’s $15 million investment in the Buzzfeed-inspired media stream geared toward the generation that constructs sentences out of cartoon thumbnails.
Layoffs suck. Especially if you work for a media company. It’s not selling cars or spinal reconstruction equipment or even being the Ballpark Beer Guy. Those jobs offer a semblance of security. Services that fill needs. Everyone who tries to make a living out of stacking words in the right order knows each job that pays you to do it full-time is likely your last.
What’s different about the Mashable layoff is, well, a lot of the cool kids who stuck to the artisanal crafting of letters into a workable algorithm that gets 5k plus likes in the first 24, are now being proven wrong. They bet on the wrong medium. Whoops.
Once the check cleared, Turner sent down the mandate to turn Mashable into a more video-centric enterprise and is trying to co-develop shows for its networks TBS and TNT. Presumably pitches that start with, “Cougar Town meets a Vice special report on geriatric STDs” will be fast-tracked
For his part, Wednesday night Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore threw down a handful of Fireball shots, caught up on the last half-season of Game of Thrones, passed out on his Sleep Number and woke up to a History Channel doc on Auschwitz. From there he grabbed his device and wrote this in an actual memo: “Today we must part ways with some of our colleagues.” Adding, “We are certain this is the right direction for Mashable. But that doesn’t make it any less difficult to say goodbye to our friends and teammates.”
Then, as the ultimate fuck you, he posted it on LinkedIn where he knew no one would read it right away.
Nadja Oertelt, erstwhile senior producer at Mashable, posted to the tweets Thursday that she’d just found out she’d been laid off over app—then this happened:
I thought today couldn't get worse and then hair in my pizza happened. Stuck in Ohio wishing I could be w/ you all. pic.twitter.com/d4jpityhgZ
— nadja oertelt (@nadjao) April 8, 2016
Back at the NYC headquarters, the rest of Mashable’s editorial watched one another drop off the company’s Slack account one by one followed by a hovercraft coming and picking up the tribute as their image shows up on a giant screen overhead.
One thing I know, having your news editor walk up to you and say, “Grab your stuff—I’m taking you out for a drink…or seven” was a lot easier/better/and more fun way to say goodbye to your career.