Funny Or Die said today it is reducing staff and closing its San Mateo office as part of a decision to “double-down and refocus on making the kind of content that made us a household name in the first place,” according to the company. We’re hearing that means 37 layoffs overall, mostly coming from the tech side.
The news comes a little less than three months after the digital comedy portal with a reach of 66 million globally named veteran Mike Farah its CEO. He replaced Dick Glover, who exited in September to run Mandalay Sports Media. The shift hit today indicates the company is attempting to go back to it core comedy roots in short-form, long-form and branded programs Farah helped build.
The company’s statement on the layoffs:
“While Funny Or Die has grown as a company over the last several years, we’ve remained committed to creating premium comedy. As we move into the future, we’ve decided to double-down and re-focus on making the kind of content that made us a household name in the first place. To accomplish that, we’ve had to reorganize and reduce our staff. This isn’t an easy process for any of us. As necessary as these steps may be, we value every single one of the contributors we’ve had to part ways with. They’ve been integral in making us the company we are today, and we thank them for their dedication and friendship.”
Farah joined Funny Or Die in 2008 as a producer, and won Primetime Emmys as executive producer of Between Two Ferns. He’s also executive producer of Billy On The Street, @midnight and IFC’s Brockmire starring Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet which bows in 2017.
Funny Or Die’s branded arm has been busy too, including producing videos for the GOP and the Democrats at their conventions last month. That came after it opened a DC office and tapped David Litt, a former special assistant to President Barack Obama and senior presidential speechwriter, as head writer and producer.
Variety first broke the news about layoffs.