Hachette Guts Online Editorial Staff; Possible Plans Include Outsourcing Web Video Production

This story was written by David Kaplan.
Hachette Filipacchi U.S., the U.S. magazine arm which is part of Lagardere, has laid off over a dozen staffers from its online division, Gawker reported. Among the casualties are senior exec Matthew Rosenberg and ElleGirl.com fashion editor Joyann King; ElleGirl.com senior editor Holly Seigal and Dei Lewison, producer of the Elle websites, were let go too. Premiere.com film critic Glenn Kenny also got pink-slipped, which he mentions in a post on the official Premiere blog. One reasons behind the decision to gut the most of the online staff could have been due to Lagardere's flat Q1 revenues in the U.S. Gawker offered another factor, saying even Hachette's most successful online properties have the reach of a mid-sized blog.

Meanwhile, WWD says that 15 staffers were laid off in online unit, out of a larger editorial staff of about 100. A rep for Hachette told WWD that the positions will all be filled by hires who will bring in a "new skill set," though what sort of skills the company is looking for were not specified. The firings were handed down by Todd Anderman, the former Maxim Digital exec who took over as SVP of digital media at Hachette in January. In the wake of the firings, the company is considering third-party deal to produce web video. The company also revealed that it recently slashed half a dozen positions at Woman's Day.

By David Kaplan