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YOU’RE BEING LAID OFF, BUT HAVE A DISCOUNTED MASSAGE FIRST: Mansueto Ventures, which publishes Fast Company and Inc. magazines, has laid off 20 employees, including the head of its digital operations, Ed Sussman, and the entire creative services and events and business resources departments are being closed. The digital division is being folded under the two magazine brands, with all employees working on both print and digital. Upstart, the magazine about startups that was being developed by Scott Medintz, is being “shelved…for now,” according to a memo to employees from chief executive officer John Koten. A source at the company said Medintz, who worked with Fast Company managing director Robert Safian at Money, would “probably” be retained.
Koten also wrote, “This isn’t just about keeping our expenses in line. It’s also about adapting to change and strengthening and improving our organization.” He pointed out that Fast Company was on Adweek’s Hot List and Advertising Age’s A-List and won a Loeb award, and that Inc. was a National Magazine Award finalist. Sources at the company said they believed Fast Company’s print side was untouched, though it was unclear whether editorial staff had been cut from Inc. Official comment was not available by press time.
Other, smaller cost-cutting measures Koten outlined included ending gym reimbursements, closing an Atlanta sales office, limiting use of color copiers and overnight mail, and getting rid of free snacks. But he opted to keep the free sodas and subsidized massages in the office, “in part because the expense is small but more because I want to do everything possible to ensure that this [is] to remain a very special place to work…one that truly stands out.” — I.C.