Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Mass layoffs at Cracked.com. What's going on?

Mass layoffs at Cracked.com. What's going on?

Mainly, their parent company is in serious financial trouble.


  1. My guess and this is not an educated guess or anything else, it's based more on observation and opinion... Cracked was, at one time a comedy magazine the same calibre as MAD, but recently has become or tried to become a political commentary mag.

    Some of the stuff I have seen on this site, alone, support that. A lot of the political commentary is not even close to funny, it tends to be an assassination more than anything else.

    And people will stop buying the comedy magazine they enjoyed when it stops being funny - as Cracked has over the last couple of years.

    I could be wrong.

  2. Just a sign o' the times. Cracked was once a sharply written, hilarious mag that we enjoyed in the 70's, then it gradually petered out as many mags did in the digital age & became an online presence only; not even Sylvester P. Smyth survived. At first they had a superb array of dedicated, genuinely witty writers, then they began to rely more on freelancers - who contributed lots of funny stuff too, but don't have anywhere near the skills of pro writers. Now they're down to a "core group of editors", screaming out for freelancers. The end is surely near.

  3. As usual, Gent is completely wrong.

    What happened is the web advertising market cratered. I know, I work for a major site and it happened to us. We very nearly shut down, only dodged it by finding a partner to help with the bills.

    Cracked has been making appeals to readers for months. The same appeals the site I worked for did, more or less. They went direct, we went patreon, neither worked.

    Cracked had a MASSIVE staff for a website with a few video series. Huge. Big editorial staff, on screen personalities, staff writers... That's not a sustainable model today. So now they look like we do: one editor in chief (David Wong) and two or three other employees managing freelance writers. Expect them to shed any real estate they rent soon.

    Why this happened had zero to do with content. You'll note EVERY major site is asking you to disable ad blockers or subscribe.

    Fact is, people literally refuse to pay directly for written content on the web. Completely refuse. Our patreon asked for $1 a month. That's it. If 10k of our 1mil+ readers ponied up that buck, we'd be been fine. Nope. Final tally? Around 2500. Again, out of over ONE MILLION READERS.

    That's not a subtle statement. Nobody will pay for written content. Period.

    Of course, this means written content is going to go away. Maybe once a few major outlets fold, people will wise up. Or, maybe advertisers will realize social media isn't the gold mine they imagine and return to traditional web buys.

    Or, every site you read that requires income to stay afloat will fold, and all you'll have to read will be memes and Russian fake news.

  4. I'm old enough to remember when Cracked was a second-rate ripoff of Mad magazine.

  5. @Poor Justin: But but . . . killing net neutrality will make things all better, right?

    I remember Cracked as a magazine, too.

  6. EW Scripps bought cracked last April.