Among the layoffs were senior film critic Todd McCarthy, senior editor Benjamin Svetkey, senior film editor Piya Sinha-Roy, real estate and city editor Peter Kiefer, senior reporter Rebecca Sun, senior events editor Ramona Saviss, associate editor Lindsay Weinberg and editorial assistant Tara Bitran.
Executive V.P. and group publisher Lynne Segall was also laid off, according to Deadline. A source close to Segall said only a week ago that her contract at Valence had been renewed and that she was receiving a promotion. The source disclosed the renewed deal when it was suggested that she was in fact being demoted from her role as THR-Billboard group publisher, with a cut in compensation to match. A Valence insider at the time said a new position was being explored for Segall.
Others let go included senior art production manager Michelle Mondragon, senior photo editor Lisa Dragani, senior video producers Marya Gullo and Natalie Heltzel and senior production manager Maya Eslami.
The staff reduction was attributed to COVID-19, said Vibe deputy editor William Ketchum III, in a tweet.
The layoffs come after editorial director Matthew Belloni stepped down April 6 after disagreements with Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu of parent company Valence Media, which also owns MRC and Dick Clark Productions. Belloni was understood to have been pressured to give Valence a head’s up about stories that could negatively affect their businesses.
Laid-off Vibe editor William Ketchum III wrote Tuesday that the layoffs were caused by cutbacks due to COVID-19. Dick Clark Productions and MRC also experienced layoffs Tuesday.
The Hollywood Reporter had been losing up to $10 million a year even before the coronavirus pandemic hit entertainment companies.
Valence Media had no comment.