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Inc. Publisher Lays Off 20, Closes Two Departments, Eliminates Free Snacks

20081001.gifValleywag hinted at this on Friday, but we received confirmation over the weekend in the form of a memo sent by John Koten, the editor-turned-CEO: Mansueto Ventures, publishers of Inc. and Fast Company is laying off 20 people, including three members of the executive committee (Ed Sussman, Kelly Winkler and Cathy Kranston), and closing two departments.

According to the missive, the company will close its Events Business Resources and Creative Services department, while merging Mansueto Digital into the two print departments and. “All edit [and sales] personnel will be expected to work on online, print and events.” Perhaps most ominously Koten writes:

Before the end of the year, I will ask everyone in both the sales and print departments to submit a plan to me outlining the contribution they plan to make in 2009 to the areas they are new to. I will share and discuss all of these memos with Joe Mansueto.

The entire memo after the jump, including the elimination of snacks but the survival of subsidized massages.


– We are eliminating 20 positions at the company, including three of the 12 posts on the executive committee.

– The EBR (Events Business Resources) department is being closed.

– Mansueto Digital is being merged into the two print departments and the company is being reorganized around brand lines. Several positions in Mansueto Digital are being eliminated; so are some in print. Effective immediately, all sales personnel will be responsible for selling online, print, and events. All edit personnel will also be expected to work on online, print, and events. Any exception to this, from fact checkers and copy editors to senior editors, will require my express approval. Before the end of the year, I will ask everyone in both the sales and print departments to submit a plan to me outlining the contribution they plan to make in 2009 to the areas they are new to. I will share and discuss all of these memos with Joe Mansueto.

– The Creative Services department is being closed. The art departments for each brand will pick up its work and will be allocated some funds to take on this new work.

Beyond those major changes are some more modest steps, including:

– The employee contribution to health care and dental benefits is
being raised slightly. Gym reimbursements are being discontinued.

– We will no longer be providing free snacks. Free sodas and subsidized massages will stay.

– We will be cutting down on temps and interns

– We are closing our Atlanta office, but keeping our sales folks
there.

– We are tightening up on T&E. This includes being very strict about our policy of not paying for meals or events when only employees are present.

– We are limiting the use of overnight mail.

– We are going to restrict use of our color copiers.

– We are cutting IT Help Desk coverage.

– We’re instituting a number of changes to streamline production.

– We’re cutting back on our few outside consultants.

– We will be curtailing tuition reimbursements.

– We will be making some changes to save money on manufacturing costs.

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