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It’s been a dreadful few weeks for journalists who took jobs at streaming services.
First, there was the sudden demise of CNN+, which shuttered less than a month after its launch. The cable network’s parent company, the newly merged Warner Bros. Discovery, quickly killed CNN+ after an exceptionally poor start.
Now Netflix—reeling from its disastrous first-quarter earnings—has reportedly laid off roughly 25 people in marketing, including at least 10 from its onomatopoeia-named editorial site, Tudum. Netflix showed many of Tudum’s staff of writers and former journalists the door just five months after launching the site, an online fan page that published promotional articles about Netflix movies and shows. The streaming giant had poached entertainment journalists from big-name lifestyle sites and magazines to staff the vertical.
In both cases, deep-pocketed media giants lured journalists to launch a project, only to pull the rug out from under them in mere months. But the Tudum dump seems especially cruel since Netflix apparently pitched the jobs as high-paying and stable in a notoriously volatile industry. More than 6,150 U.S. journalists have lost their jobs during the pandemic, according to the Columbia Journalism Review.
“Aggressively courting journalists (esp [people of color]). Throwing money at us. Telling us this is gonna be different and stable. We'll be set up for success,” Alex Zaragoza, one of the laid-off Tudum workers, tweeted after her dismissal.
Tudum staffers may have been tu-doomed from the start; the site launched without much promotion or even basic features like author pages, former workers told The Daily Beast. Like those at CNN+, Tudum’s workers didn’t get much runway to prove they could succeed—though Tudum itself is not shutting down.
A Netflix spokesperson said Tudum remains an important priority for the company. But for now, it appears that sustainable jobs in online media remain elusive—even at tech titans like Netflix. — Christian Hetrick
The Biden administration on Monday announced a new $3.1 billion plan to ramp up electric vehicle battery production in the U.S. in order to reduce the country's dependence on foreign suppliers.
Speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday, Coinbase co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong noted that the Chinese government has looked to deploy crypto as a means of control—making it all the more important, he argued, that democracies allow crypto to flourish freely.
The Santa Monica-based software engineering startup produces a productivity tracker for developers that provides data analytics and workflow metrics.
Houseplant, the Los Angeles-based cannabis brand launched by actor and comedian Seth Rogen, is trying to make good on its socially responsible mission with its second annual In-House mentorship program.
What We’re Reading Elsewhere...
- Lionsgate partners with Peacock on streaming releases of its 2022 films.
- ZoomInfo acquirs Comparably, a recruitment marketing and employer branding platform.
- L.A.-based Romeo Power will be featured at Long Beach's upcoming 'clean transport' expo.
- Biocom California's CEO talks about how the biotech world is growing in Los Angeles.
- Mozilla finds mental health apps are more likely to have poor user privacy protections than other apps.