Funny or Die is facing a crisis most digital media companies are battling nowadays. Through a memo, staff was informed of another layoff for an unspecified number of workers.
On Tuesday, chief executive officer Mike Farah made the dreaded announcement. The move, according to Farah, was for Funny or Die to be able to adapt to the turmoil that had enveloped digital media companies such as Buzzfeed and Mashable.
"Like a lot of other digital media companies, we're facing tough challenges that we can no longer ignore, so we must adapt," the memo read.
However, this is not the first time Funny or Die downsized the number of its employees since Farah sat down as the company CEO. In 2016, Farah also laid off more than 30 people, leaving only 95 of its workforce. It had also taken down its San Mateo office in California, which focused on app development.
Farah joined Funny or Die initially as a producer in 2008. He won an award for Between Two Ferns, which was hosted by Zach Galifianakis. Then, he took over the role as CEO after Dick Glover, who has taken control of the Mandalay Sports Media.
Meanwhile, Variety underlined that senior employees might have been spared from the layoffs and that the action was spread throughout the divisions. The move came at a time when most digital media companies are having a hard time coping with the competition for online dollars as huge companies like Facebook take most of the money in the industry.
Farah ended the memo with a lighter note and promised that Funny or Die will still make quality comedy content.
"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," he said. "With an audience of 52 million people and growing, we are not going anywhere for a long time."
Funny or Die was founded by Will Ferrell, CAA, Adam McKay, and Chris Henchy. Its known investors include AMC Network, Sequoia Capital, and Time Warner.
Buzzfeed and Vice Media had felt the impact of the crisis after announcing in late last year that its revenue projections were not met. Mashable was also sold to Ziff Davis for $50 million, a meek amount from the $250 million value the bosses had expected. Shortly after being sold to a new owner, news that Mashable will be slashing off 30 percent of its employees had circulated.