Sean Combs’ music-oriented Revolt Media laid off about a third of its staff today as it restructures and focuses on producing more lifestyle content. The company, which launched in 2013, said it would lay off about 50 people at its offices in Los Angeles and New York and concentrate production in Southern California.
CEO Roma Khanna, in a memo to staff (read it in full below), said she is repositioning the company to become a leader in hip-hop culture, and realigning its content and brand strategy to match the new vision.
“Some great changes are underway as we build our programming strategy and re-envision our content and social media. But to achieve our vision we still have work to do,” Khanna wrote. “As part of addressing our challenges, today we implemented a very difficult decision to take action to streamline our team and operations.”
Revolt is best-known for such music-inflected shows as The Breakfast Club, a morning talk show featuring radio personalities DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God, who play hip-hop and R&B and weigh in on entertainment and pop culture.
The Revolt TV channel is available in some 50 million homes, though it will need more robust content offerings if it hopes to hang on to its pay TV distribution in an era of skinny bundles.
Here’s the full memo
Dear REVOLT Team,
As you know, over the last few months we have been working to realign our content and brand strategy to move us towards our vision of being a leader of Hip Hop culture. We want to be a platform for diverse voices to have an authentic home. And we want to reflect the culture from within.
Some great changes are underway as we build our programming strategy and re-envision our content and social media. But to achieve our vision we still have work to do and challenges ahead.
As a part of addressing our challenges, today we implemented a very difficult decision to take action to streamline our team and operations to deliver on this new vision and to create a healthy and strong company. Effective immediately REVOLT will resize and refocus. These changes will result in the elimination of just over 50 positions in both New York and Los Angeles, across divisions of the company. We are simplifying the way we work and shifting our resources to allow us to invest in the stories we want to tell in a new way and with higher impact.
We will work with more outside voices, producers and influencers while maintaining a strong editorial core in-house. We will also create a more healthy and stable business base from which we can grow. And we continue our proud record of being over 65% culturally diverse and nearly 50/50 gender balanced.
Change can be difficult. This move is about strength and growth. As one of a very small handful of networks owned and controlled by the African American community, we need to ensure we remain fiscally strong so that we can continue to authentically represent the culture.
We are proud to be a home for diverse voices and I know we will continue to grow our platform across both TV and digital as a home for Hip Hop culture.
Today we should take a moment and thank our colleagues who have helped us get to this important time in our evolution. They are, and will remain, an important part of our story.
Tomorrow we need to wake up strong, focused, and ready for the future as we pursue our vision to be unapologetically Hip Hop. We need to offer a voice for a new generation, one that represents and serves the diverse community we live in.
I am excited to work with you all to build a strong future. Thank you for your continued hard work. Together we are going to do great things.