Blog Post

WebMediaBrands Downsizes Post-Jupiterimages Sale; Lays Off 60

WebMediaBrands (NSDQ: WEBM), formerly known as JupiterMedia, is laying off about 60 staffers as it consolidates following the recent sale of Jupiterimages. The $96 million sale to Getty Images (NYSE: GYI) started the process last month, slicing off some 400-plus staffers from a pre-sale total of 630. Chairman and CEO Alan Meckler tells me the new total is around 155. Looking at it another way, he now runs a company with three offices in the U.S. versus one with 28 offices in eight countries. (That will change a bit soon when WMB sets up a small sales and editorial office in Singapore but nothing as complex as the images business that came close to swallowing the company.)

Instead, WebMediaBrands focuses on three segments with three core websites: for the tech community, for the media community and for the design and graphics community. The three combined had 21 million uniques in February, according to Meckler. While the tough economy is a factor in the layoffs, Meckler says it’s more about integration: “What happened while we were primarily an image company was the integration of these three never took place.” That left in place multiple sales teams, event teams, and job board teams, plus duplicate administration. Now, he says, “we essentially voted to go with the Mediabistro team and it’s taking on a wider role in the company.” Some of the staffers from those other teams are moving to Mediabistro, while others have been laid off. Then-JupiterMedia acquired Mediabistro in 2007 for about $23 million.

Are more layoffs coming? Meckler’s answer after the jump

Meckler told his staff and later blogged that he can’t make any guarantees about future cuts but he hopes this is enough to tide the company over: “I can

2 Responses to “WebMediaBrands Downsizes Post-Jupiterimages Sale; Lays Off 60”

  1. someonewhousedtoworkthere

    Adieu Jupiterimages, Adieu. The nightmare is finally over. We are free, free at last. It’s a depressing exercise in futility to reflect on the time wasted in our endeavors in this company. All those lost souls dialing fax numbers, dead phone numbers, public museums and prerecorded messages like the Movie Line; all of those useless client profiles consisting of cut-n-paste content from old notes, client websites and Adbase; all the superfluous data generated, transmitted, saved and deleted through spreadsheets, PDF’s, Word Docs and PowerPoint (more useless information than J. Edgar Hoover accumulated during the cold war); all of those afternoons on speaker phone enduring monotonous conference calls and brainless questions from morons who cannot read two points forward in a canned presentation or those who enjoy hearing themselves ask questions; all of those wasted hours repeating the same information over and over, day in day out, month after month, quarter after quarter, year after year; all the time spent strategizing over lost market share in a dying customer base complaining about the same competitor; all of those poor clients who received thousands of worthless and ill planned sales calls, time wasting web demos rife with technical difficulty and landfill volumes of irrelevant, dated marketing materials and swag; all of the false enthusiasm about yet another collection of non stellar lifestyle imagery that sat on the shelf like a can of expired sardines in an orange marmalade compote; all of those hours spent parked outside of a clients office, a lobby, a bagel shop or at the airport renegotiating an appointment that was set before Christmas and took a week to plan that got suddenly cancelled due to a sick cat; all of the unexpected drop offs/drop bys/stop bys/ stop overs/ swing bys/ drive bys/ pop ins/ hellos/ goodbyes; all the weeks spent planning, rescheduling, pulling resources, shipping supplies, trips back and forth across parking lots and corporate campuses lugging heavy sacks filled with notepads, pens, squishes and brochures, business cards, folders, food and sending invites, E-vites, follow ups and reminders for a 2 minute meeting that ends up taking place in a lobby or on the way to the elevator; all of those conference rooms booked half empty on a hope and a prayer that two accounts receivable personnel and a receptionist might come by to fill up on overpriced pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, bagels, breakfast tacos, candy, brownies and bland deli sandwiches; all of those mind-numbing campus tours of corporate clients as you feign interest at yet another sea of cubicals, conference rooms and quasi post modernistic corporate architecture making such ridiculous statements like “Wow!” and “when was this annex built?” and “where did you say you keep the fax machine?”; all of those plane trips, bad road meals at some cliché restaurant by the mall/interstate/airport, continental breakfasts, embarrassingly modest corporate hotel accommodations with slow internet connections, soft water and late wake up calls, cost conscience rental cars with as much leg room as tricycle with a flat tire and concealed airport bar tabs; all of those empty happy hours, unattended breakfast web demos and awkward client lunches with prospects that carry as much decision making authority as a summer intern that result in as much business activity that hardly covers the tip; all of those ill advised training sessions, consultations, proposals, best practice assessments and contracts; all of the half concocted tales of grand business opportunities, future alliances with Fortune 500’s, potential cash windfalls and client success stories that would bear as much fruit as a pot hole in a Home Depot parking lot only to claim a last minute catastrophe to justify sandbagging an entire quarter so you can take a vacation. All of this for pretty background pictures that you can now buy for 99 cents. Adieu Jupiterimages. You are gone but not forgotten.