HelloGiggles, the women’s lifestyle site cofounded by actress Zooey Deschanel, has cut its editorial staff from its New York office. Aside from having a famous founder, the site made news late last year when it was bought by Time Inc. According to news reports at the time, the magazine publisher, which is striving to reach younger, digitally minded readers, paid in the $20 million range.
WWD reached out to Time Inc. for comment regarding the closure of the site’s New York editorial operations, and whether more layoffs would ensue. “We’re constantly evaluating the ways we can be more efficient,” a Time Inc. spokeswoman said. “As an L.A.-headquartered operation, this realignment creates editorial efficiencies for us.”
The spokeswoman noted that HelloGiggles’ New York advertising operations had been untouched. Although she wouldn’t confirm the number of layoffs, they are believed to be in the mid-single-digit range. Earlier this week, the site listed 16 editors on its masthead, and now it lists 11.
Time Inc. declined to comment on whether the belt-tightening foreshadowed a larger restructuring at the publisher.
Founded in 2011, HelloGiggles targets women in the 25- to 34-year-old demographic. When Time Inc. purchased the site, company chairman and chief executive officer Joe Ripp said, “With its passionate, highly engaged audience and quality editorial voice, HelloGiggles is a great fit for our entertainment portfolio, which includes People and Entertainment Weekly.”
For her part, Deschanel added: “With Time Inc. as our partner, we’ll be able to expand the HelloGiggles mission and inspire and support even more young women with a safe and positive media platform.”
The HelloGiggles deal was part of a string of digital acquisitions by Time Inc., including Fansided, Viant and Jane Pratt’s xoJane and xoVain, which arguably speaks to a similar demographic as HelloGiggles. In March, Time Inc. said it would bundle xoJane into a women’s fashion network called “InStyle Collection,” comprised of InStyle, Mimi, xoJane and The Outfit.
Despite its plethora of digital properties, Time Inc. appeared bullish on investing in digital. In May, the company laid out its strategic vision, which included a strong digital push and more acquisitions, as digital valuations have become more reasonable.
“A lot of the digital properties don’t make a nickel,” Ripp said at the time. “People are starting to realize that.”