Layoff Watch: Time Europe; Salon; Buzznet; Sezmi


Time Europe : As part of its big round of layoffs this week, Time Inc. let go of about 20 editorial staff from Time Europe, or nearly two-thirds of the entire U.K.-based team. Editors William Green and James Graff were reportedly part of the group, and Gawker sources say Time Asia is next. The widespread cuts to the company’s namesake publication have fueled speculation that Time Magazine will end up publishing a single international edition instead of the four regional divisions (Europe, Asia, Canada and South Pacific) it puts out now.

Salon : laid off nine staffers, including political writer Walter Shapiro. Shapiro broke the news in an email to Playbook, but Politico confirmed the number of cuts with Salon EIC Joan Walsh. Without Shapiro, the site’s Washington D.C.-based team is down to two members — which makes sense, given that the outcome of the election has toned down the flurry of politically fueled news. And though Walsh says hasn’t cut staff since 2001, parent company Salon Media has had continuing money woes. It raised $1 million in equity financing in April through sales of its stock.

Buzznet : Universal-backed pop culture and music site Buzznet has laid off 10 employees — or about 11 percent of its 89 member team. Valleywag reported the cuts, which we confirmed with a company spokesperson. Buzznet went on a buying spree earlier this year, adding Stereogum, former Gawker site Idolator, and most recently indie music community Absolute Punk.

Sezmi : Sezmi, the set-top box startup with big ambitions, has been chopped down to size. Bits reports that the Belmont, Calif.-based company laid off about 20 employees. Chairman Phil Wiser, a former *Sony* exec, was quick to pin the layoffs on the economy — not any internal problems, and said Sezmi is on the cusp of announcing new funding. Founded in 2007, Sezmi raised $17.5 million in its first round from Morganthaler Ventures, Omni Capital, and others.


Benjamin Wright

The world is different today compared to the past (compared to even just a year ago). The constant march of technology makes it possible for a smaller work force to do virtually the same job as a larger workforce. As white collar employees are handed pink slips, an employer like Time, Buzznet, Sezmi, a bank or a brokerage may be prudent to generously retain their e-mail records. The records are a valuable asset to the employer, relating to intellectual property, project management, customer relationships and more. –Ben

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