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'Complex' to End Print Publication

The change comes with a round of layoffs.
The final print edition of Complex. Photo: Complex

The final print edition of Complex. Photo: Complex

It's shaping up to be a very rough season for the media industry. On Wednesday, Complex Media became the latest publication to announce that it will cease its print edition, according to a report by Billboard.

Internal sources indicate the bulk of layoffs hit the magazine's art, marketing and sales departments; cuts also hit the editorial staff, including Kristen Yoonsoo Kim and news editor Ian Servantes. The December 2016/January 2017 issue of Complex, which debuted in 2002, will be the last print edition, and features Sofia Richie and Pusha T on its covers. In 2015, Hearst invested $21 million in the company; in April, Complex Media was acquired by Hearst and Verizon in an equal 50-50 ownership deal reportedly worth $250 to $300 million. Hearst and Verizon then rolled the brand into Complex Networks, with a heavy focus on online video — which seems to be the reason for the cancellation of print and layoffs.

"As Complex embarks on a rapid expansion of premium video creation across the company’s networks and with a growing list of distribution partners, the company is reallocating certain positions to address its content needs," Complex says in a release to Billboard. "We're deeply committed to the ongoing evolution of our brand and our long-term plan to be a leader in digital video entertainment. While we're reducing staff in some areas, we plan to increase to meet our needs in others."

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Earlier in December, Hearst announced plans to combine editorial teams of five of its titles; in October, Condé Nast also revealed plans to combine resources across five fields in its greatest restructuring to date. In the past month alone, layoffs hit W magazine; Teen Vogue unveiled plans to reduce print publications to a quarterly schedule; and Self announced it would cease print publication altogether. 

We have reached out to Complex for comment and will update with any further information.

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