UBM Cuts 70-80 Staff
Layoffs primarily hit Tech division.
UBM has cut 70-80 positions as it continues its reorganization under its events-first strategy, Folio: has learned.
The cuts have happened over the last couple of days and are primarily centered in its UBM Tech division, representing brands that don't directly support the event- and community-centric strategy.
The company has been pursuing its events-first strategy—supplemented by marketing services—over the last two to three years, and media assets that struggle to make their margins or fail to directly align with an event brand have been shaved off.
Among the brands impacted most recently are Bank Systems & Technology, Insurance & Technology and Wall Street & Technology—the latter was launched last May. Software development brand Dr. Dobbs was shut down in December.
The sites will remain active until January 30, when editorial support will be cut off and they'll be rolled into the Information Week network. Archival content from all brands, however, will live on.
The changes within UBM, as in many large B2B media companies, have been significant and sustained over recent years. UBM went through a large round of layoffs in 2013 as it transitioned away from print. Now, as the company adheres to its event-focused model, the organization is buckling down even tighter.
In the meantime, UBM announced last fall that it was consolidating its North and South American groups into one Americas division to be led by CEO Sally Shankland, who was previously CEO of UBM Connect, a marketing services division.
Right after that, UBM acquired Advanstar for $972 million, making it the largest events organizer in the U.S.
And as UBM focuses on events and digital community environments, there's been some friction between traditional editorial roles and those that focus on fostering community engagement online. One source says Information Week's core group of editors is part of the layoffs—an editorial team that has a long-time association with the brand and, presumably, became expensive.
In response to a query about the Information Week staff, and without directly confirming that situation, a spokesperson says, "We did have to discontinue our activities in a number of areas that are less well-aligned with our core markets and communities (and our long term 'Events First' strategy). So regrettably yes, this means some colleagues will be leaving the business across our online media properties."