Mass Layoffs inbound across CBSi

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kommando208

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#1  Edited By kommando208

Word is emails will be going out between the 9th and 13th.

Imagine the GB crew having to refresh their emails all weekend to determine if they've been opted-in to keep working here. Sad stuff. Worried we might not even make it to Red Ventures before getting axed.

Update: several folks at gamespot have already been informed of their layoff

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sparky_buzzsaw

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Ah, fuck. Sorry to all those affected.

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effache

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#3  Edited By effache

This is very sad and confusing news. Why go through a through these kind of layoffs right after announcing the acquisition of this arm of the company? And having to expect a confirmation letter for employment, sitting on pins and needles for almost an entire week, what an awful way to handle it. I hope any people affected land on their feet and that CNET, Gamespot, and of course GB can withstand this. It would be awful to see layoffs for GB come from the top considering how independent they have seemed and how well they have adapted to the current situation. I will be crossing my fingers for them all weekend

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ultrabirdo

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This really, really sucks. I saw Ashley Oh (formerly of Polygon) got laid off at Gamespot; I don't know how many other layoffs there are already/if those affected have said so publicly. This is awful. I hope everyone can find new work quick, as unlikely as that seems nowadays.

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petesix0

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Saw about Ashley also. I don't know what else to say other than repeat what has already been said; Ah fuck.

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berfunkle

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I wonder if there's a possibility these folks could get hired back by Red Ventures, especially if they want these sites to continue making content.

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kommando208

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Unfortunately, I would think that these layoffs are at the behest of RV, "streamlining" and "removing redundancies" that can be filled with RV staff once the merge is complete.

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isomeri

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Well this is shitty. Let's hope there's some good news before next week.

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reap3r160

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Hearts out to all those effected and those still waiting to hear. My job is no stranger to these sorts of layoffs.

The fact that it is a letter of confirmation of EMPLOYMENT is a moot point tho, it would be done via email either way(its just a good vs bad email). To keep things discrete. Really no other way to notify mass layoffs.

Fingers crossed but I highly doubt GB will be affected by this. If anything they might be a slight restructuring in funding, like not expensing a lot of the stuff they do if cost is a concern for Red Ventures.

It's hard to say what strategy these cuts are going for, but looking at what was included in the sale, both TV gudie and Metacritic seem like something that would be the first to go.

I don't know what positions were lost at GameSpot but I'd imagine it leans more towards editorial vs multimedia. All this gives me hope that GB will make it out on the other side of this.

Regardless, fingers crossed and again best wishes to anyone affected by this.

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reap3r160

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@effache: This type of restructure mostly happens immediately following an acquisition. New management, new business goals.

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Shindig

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Wild idea: They merge Gamespot and Giantbomb.

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csl316

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Sucks, I'm already anxious about what happens over the next week. I can't imagine what it's like for the employees there. It is, unfortunately, something that can happen during an acquisition.

Hoping for the best.

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Daavpuke

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Incredibly sad and worried right now. That's all I got. All my hope goes towards stability for the crew and friends of the site.

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flatblack

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@shindig said:

Wild idea: They merge Gamespot and Giantbomb.

wildly terrible idea

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UltimAXE

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GB staff have always implied that CBS loves their subscription model/subscribers, and I don't see why that would suddenly change with new owners (unless their bottom line is completely different, I guess). Worst case scenario, I'm sure that the gang would find easy funding through Patreon. Let's hope that it doesn't come to that, though.

Helluva time to lay people off.

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frytup

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@effache: This type of restructure mostly happens immediately following an acquisition. New management, new business goals.

Yes, but after the acquisition is complete. The deal hasn't closed yet.

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plan6

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I have to say that this is one of the worst ways to do lay offs. Even my firm of heartless lawyers had the back bone to require all notice of being furloughed to be done by phone, follow up by the requirement documentation. This plan of "If you don't get the golden email, you no longer have a job" has to be the most spineless shit I've seen in forever.

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Shindig

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@shindig said:

Wild idea: They merge Gamespot and Giantbomb.

wildly terrible idea

It is but would their new corporate overlords see it that way? "Why do we have two gaming websites?"

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fudgepuppy

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@ultimaxe said:

GB staff have always implied that CBS loves their subscription model/subscribers, and I don't see why that would suddenly change with new owners (unless their bottom line is completely different, I guess). Worst case scenario, I'm sure that the gang would find easy funding through Patreon. Let's hope that it doesn't come to that, though.

Helluva time to lay people off.

As much as I want to believe the worst case scenario is that they all continue as normal with Patreon or something, I truly believe that will not be the case considering how different things are for the crew now compared to how it was when they started Giant Bomb.

I gotta say, this year has been tough, and I've managed to stay somewhat sane, but the thought of Giant Bomb not surviving, made my eyes well up.

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Temg99

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@effache said:

Why go through a through these kind of layoffs right after announcing the acquisition of this arm of the company?

Most likely to meet contractual requirements of the sale. For example, The sale likely came with a requirement to meet a certain profit number by end of the fiscal year or the sale price goes down by a specific amount (or a reserve held in escrow is used up). So they are cutting costs to meet that number.

Or they must meet specific employment and benefits practices and the only way to do that is to technically rehire everyone under a brand new plan that is managed by RV.

Or these were planned a long time ago and the sale forced them to move up the timetable.

Or just pure expectation of redundancy and they are doing it to give folks enough time to find a new job.

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ConfusedOwl

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#21  Edited By ConfusedOwl

2020 really needs to relax. I hope GB can get through this unscathed. They've been a part of my life so long that it's hard to imagine not having them around anymore.

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plan6

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@shindig said:
@flatblack said:
@shindig said:

Wild idea: They merge Gamespot and Giantbomb.

wildly terrible idea

It is but would their new corporate overlords see it that way? "Why do we have two gaming websites?"

I can tell you that if they merged the two, they would reduce "redundancy" in roles. There is no way that works out for anyone who enjoys giant bomb.

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flatblack

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#23  Edited By flatblack

@plan6 said:
@shindig said:
@flatblack said:
@shindig said:

Wild idea: They merge Gamespot and Giantbomb.

wildly terrible idea

It is but would their new corporate overlords see it that way? "Why do we have two gaming websites?"

I can tell you that if they merged the two, they would reduce "redundancy" in roles. There is no way that works out for anyone who enjoys giant bomb.

Yeah, this is one of my bigger fears. I get how it makes sense from an uninformed corporate standpoint but in my eyes the two websites have wildly different goals and audiences. I think everyone else involved would probably agree.

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frytup

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@shindig said:
@flatblack said:
@shindig said:

Wild idea: They merge Gamespot and Giantbomb.

wildly terrible idea

It is but would their new corporate overlords see it that way? "Why do we have two gaming websites?"

GamesSpot and GB have very different business models. Even a bean counter totally ignorant of site content would see that and recognize that just smooshing them together isn't likely to work out well.

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kommando208

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#25  Edited By kommando208

GB can't sell credit cards and mortgages the way "The Points Guy" or "Bankrate" can. In fact the very thought would probably disgust most of the staff. Even if these layoffs go over well, I don't have high hopes. Read this article about how RV "values" their websites and tell me if it sounds like Giant Bomb.

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Temg99

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@ultimaxe said:

GB staff have always implied that CBS loves their subscription model/subscribers, and I don't see why that would suddenly change with new owners (unless their bottom line is completely different, I guess). Worst case scenario, I'm sure that the gang would find easy funding through Patreon. Let's hope that it doesn't come to that, though.

Helluva time to lay people off.

That won't stop new owners from merging them. Heck the success of a subscription model may make them want to merge it even more if ad revenue is in the toilet. And the massive discount CBS sold Cnet for tells us that ad revenue was definitely in the toilet.

Think of the size of Gamespot's audience with GB's premium plan plus advertising dollars on top. Merge the staff together, keep GB's content plan for daily premium only shows with GB leading the group due to their expertise and to keep GiantBomb subscribers happy (think Vinny leading all of Gamespots video teams and Jeff as EIC of Gamespot Premium). Up the price to $75 a year because of the expanded content of both sites. Gamespot becomes the new main hub, GB is kept around for the archive and any content with a GB personality.

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Shindig

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Imagine what Gamespot's traffic might do for GB's sub numbers.

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aznan

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That's terrible news. Holding my thumbs over here, hoping for the best.

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Temg99

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@kommando208:

Yah like I said in the other thread - if RV doesn't turn CNet into a Wirecutter clone, I will be incredibly surprised. They are prime for that transition and that is absolutely right in RV's wheelhouse.

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smcn

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as someone currently going through non-acquisition-related restructure: it’s gonna suck, and giant bomb will not be immune to change.

above all, don’t expect anyone at gb to give any information or opinion on this stuff for a long time.

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bigsocrates

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I'm not going to speculate on people's jobs. I just hope that the layoffs are few and that affected people find new positions soon.

Regardless of whether Giant Bomb is affected this just flat out sucks. It sucks.

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andrewf87462

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Oh God I hope this doesn't affect GiantBomb. GB community to the rescue if it does.

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chaser324

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#33  Edited By chaser324  Moderator

I hope that notice posted on Twitter isn't accurate. If it is, that is an awful way to handle layoffs.

Do they really expect people to just frantically refresh their emails for the next five days (including the weekend) hoping for an email? At least have the decency to be direct and prompt so that anyone impacted can start looking for a new position.

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SleazyWizard

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@kommando208:

“We’re growing our media business overall, which includes news content, it includes video content that may be more top of funnel. It includes content that could be comparisons, reviews and advice.”

Wow. Hope we’re all ready for our GB credit cards.

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hansberg

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#35  Edited By hansberg

@chaser324: I'm curious about that. If some Gamespot personnel have been informed already of their layoff, then something doesn't add up about the notion that not receiving an email is how this is happening. I wonder if people who receive the specific email are still employed; but those who are being let go are being told in a different manner.

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gutterkisser

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I've rarely been active in the community, but I've been a fan for a decade and this news is weighing heavily. Giant Bomb is a rock in my life, doubly so in a year as terrible as 2020. Best wishes to them and everyone else affected by this shit.

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Temg99

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@hansberg: Or management is backchanneling the decisions to the affected employees so they don't refresh all weekend and can prepare for their future.

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LonelySpacePanda

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Why is everyone so negative? Maybe they'll, uh, double everyone's salary and rehire every former GB staffer?

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Electric_Messiah

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In the light of all this I wonder if all this work at home stuff has not had the benefit of actually preparing the GB crew for an event where they might have to strike out on their own. Obviously it would not be ideal and there are perks to being a part of a larger entity but at least they have solved a lot of production issues they would not have had the chance to figure out if they were still in the office and the worst were to happen.

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IndeedCodyBrown

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This sucks

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Temg99

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Not even going into their personal lives being very different from a family and risk aversion point. I genuinely question if they would be able to make GB in today's market if they strike out on their own again. Their methods are incredibly capital intensive. They will have to buy all of their equipment over again - computers, consoles, games, video equipment, streaming decks, everything. That is not cheap.

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clagnaught

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Really hope this doesn't affect Giant Bomb or Bakalar. Hope there isn't too much of an impact across the sister sites. Layoffs suck, but being laid off at a time like this is fucking terrible.

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chaser324

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#43 chaser324  Moderator

Statement from Red Ventures:

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petesix0

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#44  Edited By petesix0

...

This is not the original panic. This is just the tribute.

...

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urstril

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@hansberg said:

@chaser324: I'm curious about that. If some Gamespot personnel have been informed already of their layoff, then something doesn't add up about the notion that not receiving an email is how this is happening. I wonder if people who receive the specific email are still employed; but those who are being let go are being told in a different manner.

It could be something like they are going through the different companies in stages, and that all of the Gamespot emails were sent out today. And if you didn't get one of those emails, then you're out? It would be an incredibly crappy way to find out, but that would explain it.

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development

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#46  Edited By development

@chaser324 said:

I hope that notice posted on Twitter isn't accurate. If it is, that is an awful way to handle layoffs.

Do they really expect people to just frantically refresh their emails for the next five days (including the weekend) hoping for an email? At least have the decency to be direct and prompt so that anyone impacted can start looking for a new position.

Seriously. It reminds of this South Park bit:

Loading Video...

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epidehl

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Mentioned it in another thread, but I just got laid-off myself and it suuuucks. Right after being bought by another company and being fed a bunch of stuff about family and shit too! Hope as many people make it through this unscathed as possible and that anyone affected can bounce back soon. Losing a job during a pandemic and right before the holidays is not fun.

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brian_

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#48  Edited By brian_

I have no idea how the business world works at all, but I imagine that something like this happens because Red Venture can't afford to hire on everyone at CNET, and so they tell CBS "Hey, we'll give you $500 million, but you need to cut x% of your staff, so we can meet whatever line on this graph here that says how many people can work for us and still have the company make money"?

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Temg99

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@brian_: Sorta. The ones I have been a part of it was "We will buy you for X as long as Y line is as you say it is on this date. Otherwise we will negotiate some money back." Then the company being bought does whatever it can to make sure on that date Y line meets that number. So cost-cutting efforts like this factor into that.

But it could also be more positive focused. It could be getting everyone on new employment contracts as required by the purchase so they fit with new RV employment requirements. So it is far less sinister than it is coming out as.

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timeshero

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