Medium, the platform that’s known for allowing anyone to publish their own articles on pretty much any subject, has made a game-changing decision to hollow out its editorial team.
In a recent email to employees, the company revealed that it has offered its entire internal editorial team a voluntary buyout that would provide them with 5-months pay and 6-moths of health benefits if they choose to leave the company.
The email also revealed that the company’s VP of Content, Siobhan O’Connor, will leave the company, however her last day is still being finalized. O’Conner was an early hire in Medium’s nascent content department and is credited with organizing and uplifting its editorial team.
The decision to condense its editorial team is a move to bring greater efficiency to the organization and fend off a fast-growing rival. Medium has recently come under pressure from competitor Substack, which has been growing its roster of independent contributors on its publishing platform with incentives like $10,000 to $30,000 advances.
CEO Ev Williams told employees, “For the foreseeable future, we will focus that talent on supporting independent voices on our platform. This means identifying writers — both already on Medium and not — and offering them deals, support, editing, and feedback to help them tell great stories and find their audience.”
He went on to say that as for the company’s other publications, “I think it will take a lot more experimentation to figure out what their role is on the platform. And we need to experiment more efficiently than we have been to date.”
“Whether this strategy works or not, here’s what I know is certain: There will be more change in the future. I don’t want to shy away from this reality, as I consider embracing change one of our biggest strengths,” Williams added.
The slew of moves reshaping Medium’s editorial team follow several other high-profile team changes around the media industry. Earlier this month, BuzzFeed let go 47 HuffPost employees, and last month Bloomberg revealed it cut 90 journalists as part of a restructuring.
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