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Funny Or Die Lays Off Employees Amid Digital Sector Crunch

Funny Or Die has laid off an unspecified number of employees across a broad range of divisions within the company, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

CEO Mike Farah announced the job cuts to staff in a memo in which he laid blame for the belt-tightening on the pressures many companies from BuzzFeed to Mashable are feeling in the sector these days.

“Unfortunately, however, like a lot of other digital media companies, we’re facing tough challenges that we can no longer ignore, and so we must adapt,” he wrote.

The company had 110 employees as of last year. The company has gone through layoffs before, slashing 30% of its workforce in 2016 and shutting down a San Mateo, Calif., branch focused on app development.

Funny or Die was founded by CAA and Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy; Judd Apatow also is a principal partner. The company’s investors include AMC Networks and Sequoia Capital.

No senior staffers are believed to have been pink-slipped, nor were the cuts concentrated in any one particular area of the company.

Here’s Farah’s memo in full:

Dear Funny Or Die Family,

There’s no good way to deliver news like this. The simple fact is that today we have to let go of some great people at Funny Or Die, and it sucks. These people are incredibly smart and talented, and they’ve represented the best of us and our creative spirit. Most important, they’re our friends.

Unfortunately, however, like a lot of other digital media companies, we’re facing tough challenges that we can no longer ignore, and so we must adapt.

It’s a testament to all our staff that we have such a strong company. We made some great comedy this year like Get Out (of the White House), The Shirtless Painter, The Earliest Show, Long Hair Businessman, Overly Excited Tourist, and Zack Morris is Trash, along with an impressive slate of TV like American Vandal, Brockmire, I Love You, America, No Activity, and The Chris Gethard Show.

Moving forward, we will keep making great comedy. Our website and ancillary platforms will continue to feature work by emerging comedians and longtime friends and family. We will still develop, produce, and sell premium comedy in a wide range of formats for a wide range of platforms, from short-form digital series to branded content and long-form television and everything in between. We’ll keep producing all the same edgy social content every single day. With an audience of 52 million people and growing, we are not going anywhere for a long time. 

I’d like to express my sincere thanks to everyone we’ve had to let go. We’re very proud of all your amazing creative work; it’s our business model that has to change. I’d also like to thank our board members, who have been incredibly supportive throughout this process, and are fully behind the new plan.

For those staffers who are moving forward with us, over the next few days we’ll be holding a series of meetings with individual departments, followed by an all-hands on Friday afternoon. We’ll explain exactly what these changes mean for you, and discuss in-depth the future direction of the company. We’re committed to being both respectful and transparent.

Ultimately, who we are is the comedy we’ve created: from the Landlord to Between Two Ferns to The 2018 Rose Parade Hosted by Cord & Tish. Over the last ten years, that comedy has defined FOD, whether it’s three minutes long or thirty, whether it’s on Instagram or IFC. No matter what else may change, creating high-quality, premium comedy is what will continue to define us, this year, and for the next ten.

Sincerely,

Mike

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