Explaining to the press why your company has just axed a slew of people isn't exactly fun times. It's even less fun when the people who have been fired are also members of the press. People don't like that! Sometimes the best bad-news strategy is to issue a memo providing copy to reporters while saying nothing at all! Like late this afternoon, when CBS News spokesperson Dana McClintock sent out a meaningless statement that says absolutely nothing about today's CBS Interactive layoffs—and everyone actually printed it, from FishbowlNY to the Huffington Post (which at least called it "not that illuminating") to TVNewser to the Observer's Media Mob. How bad is it? Read it for yourself!
During 2007, CBS Interactive acquired three companies, invested in 11 more, and grew its workforce by hundreds of employees, including the formation of a new senior management team. Along with the core success of CBSsports.com, new online sites from Last.fm to Dotspotter have infused invaluable DNA into the division, and are actively translating their experience in community-building to all of the Company's properties and content. In the coming year, we intend to build on our success by expanding on that strategy of building communities online. Part of achieving this goal is reorganizing the way we do business to align the division's workforce with our new vision, including increasing our operations in the Bay Area - the heart of so much of this activity. We're confident that CBS Interactive's focus on consumer involvement will help the Division experience another record year of growth in '08 and beyond.
Oh and: By the way, we think those other websites are undercounting the number of staffers laid off at CBS Interactive today. Two sources at CBS now claim to us that at least 15 are laid off, possibly even 20.