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There has been tons of press about how the print industry is suffering, but digital media is having a tough year as well. Following "pivots to video," Mic and Mashable hemorrhaged traffic and were forced to lay off staff members; Buzzfeed recently laid off some 100 staff members after missing revenue targets.
Fashion websites aren't having any easier a time. On Wednesday, The Zoe Report was hit with significant editorial layoffs, according to a source close to Zoe Media Group. The company reportedly failed to secure outside investment and was forced to make cuts, including on the sales and video teams. The only staff members who will remain on board are the site's Editorial Director Nicky Deam and the social media team; any content on The Zoe Report moving forward will come from freelance writers.
The Zoe Report started as a newsletter in 2009 as an attempt to capitalize on stylist Rachel Zoe's newly-minted celebrity status following the first season of "The Rachel Zoe Project," which aired on Bravo. The Zoe Media Group was officially founded in 2011; in 2013, Zoe expanded the newsletter in the face of rumors that her show and budding eponymous fashion line were both failing. The Zoe Report got into the subscription box game in 2015 with "Box of Style," which delivers Zoe-approved goods four times a year.
We have reached out to The Zoe Report and will update with any news.
UPDATE, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7:00 p.m.: Rachel Zoe issued the following statement via social media:
UPDATE, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7:25 p.m.: According to representatives for The Zoe Report, the company has reorganized its editorial structure; all staffers affected were given the option to continue as freelance contractors for the site. "The Zoe Report is doubling down on quality — investing in social and engaging with the women who look to us for authority and style advice — as opposed to just going for eyeballs," said CEO of Zoe Media Group Rodger Berman in a statement. "We've seen how much our authoritative style content drives commerce for The Zoe Report's advertisers, for Box of Style and for Rachel Zoe Collection. We're actively fundraising to accelerate that success."