January 8, 2016

Upworthy laid off 14 employees, Kelsey Sutton reported Friday for POLITICO. The company, which previously had 97 employees, made the move to focus more on video, Sutton reported.

“This is an investment layoff,” (Upworthy co-founder Eli) Pariser told POLITICO. “It’s about us looking at our team and looking at our strategy and making this hard decision that we need to move resources to support the growth of video …. As excited as I am about what the future of video holds for us, it means moving money dollar-for-dollar from other departments.”

In December, Poynter’s Ben Mullin wrote about the company’s move toward original video.

In October, Upworthy brought aboard Croi McNamara, a former executive producer at Discovery Digital Studios, to lead a a small team of producers assigned to scout, shoot, edit and publish uplifting videos. They focus on what co-founder Eli Pariser calls “positive, purposeful, human-interest” productions designed to elicit shares from millennials. Since the beginning of the year, Upworthy has gone from producing or curating one video per month to maintaining a feed of about 25 videos, some of which are originals.

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Kristen Hare covers the people and business of local news and is the editor of Locally at Poynter. She previously worked as a staff writer…
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