Gizmodo Media Group will not lay off people after enough staffers took voluntary buyouts, editorial director Susie Banikarim told employees in a memo today.
“While that is the outcome for which we’d hoped, any relief is bittersweet because it comes with the loss of talented and valued colleagues whose countless contributions will be greatly missed,” Banikarim said. “We will allow them to share their news in their own time and in their own way.”
A source confirmed 44 people took the buyout. Banikarim said in her memo that most employees who took the package will have July 6 be their last day.
The buyouts come amid an uncertain time for digital publishers, as others, including BuzzFeed, Vox, Vice and Mashable have all had to lay off dozens of employees recently.
The Wall Street Journal reported in March that parent company Univision was considering extensive budget cuts and an outside consulting group hired to review the company proposed cutting the budget of Fusion Media Group, which includes Gizmodo Media Group, by up to 35 percent.
In response to the buyouts announcement, the GMG Union, a local of the Writers Guild of America East, which represents Gizmodo Media Group employees, said in a statement that the unionized staffers rallied together to negotiate the budget cuts down to 15 percent.
“By remaining united, we saved jobs and put money in the pockets of those leaving. Workers must be partners in company decisions, not the victims of them,” the GMG Union said in the statement.
Amid layoffs and departures from high-level employees, Univision executives reiterated in May that it was going through a “business review,” and were cutting costs and laying off employees.
“I know these last few months have taken a toll and that it will take some time to recover and rebuild. But I know the strength and talent of the people here and I have no doubt we will meet this challenge as we’ve met others—with the unrelenting resolve we bring to our work,” Banikarim said.