In an article published on November 29th, 2018, Recode is reporting that majority of the staff at Mic have been laid off. The site was supposed to be themed around millennial woes and approached news from the Liberal millennial’s perspective, but after raising $60 million in venture capital, they couldn’t find a business model to stay profitable, and are now being acquired by Bustle.
The article notes that Mic originally employed more than 100 people and now a majority of them are being laid off, but an exact number hasn’t been detailed. Last year in August of 2017, Mic laid off approximately 25% of its staff, so basically whoever was left was likely axed.
Adweek is also reporting that Mic was sold to Bustle for just $5 million, which is less than 8% of the capital it raised years ago to get off the ground. It takes a special kind of ineptitude to devalue your company by nearly 95% in just seven years.
Nevertheless, now former publisher of Mic, Cory Haik, sent out a letter to the jobless employees, attempting to encourage them while also trying to justify the reasoning behind news outlets not always seeking (or reporting) the truth, stating in the letter…
“[…] What you hear less about the truth is that it is expensive. Our business models are unsettled, and the macro forces at play are all going through their own states of unrest. If anyone tells you they have it figured out, a special plan to save us all, or that it’s all due to a singular fault, know that is categorically false. Like the truth, it is indeed complicated. I am proud to have been a part of an org that earnestly tried to solve some of these confounding issues. And I hope you all take some comfort in knowing that your work will transcend this moment. It’s a rare thing to be able to align your passion and your life’s work. I am grateful that you all allowed me to do that alongside you.”
While Haik tries to position truth-seeking as a nearly unattainable goal that isn’t profitable, it might have just saved the outlet had they tried.
What am I referring to? Well, one of the core positions taken up by Mic was being anti-#GamerGate. The consumer revolt was themed around cleaning up the incestuous and corrupt nature of video game journalism. However, instead of reporting on this, outlets like Mic turned it into a discussion about sexism and harassment, as evident with the #GamerGate tag on Mic that showcases years worth of milking the topic to badger and denigrate male gamers.
Multiple articles over the years painted #GamerGate as a group of sexist harassers, despite the fact that the cultural movement was absolved of such broad-sweeping labels by a peer reviewed report from WAM!, which could not find evidence to classify #GamerGate as a harassment campaign. The FBI report also indicated that there wasn’t enough evidence to classify it as a harassment campaign or move forward with any further legal action.
Despite these truisms existing, places like Mic insisted that #GamerGate was some sort of evil sexist boogeyman, which only further hurt their credibility, especially given that many of the falsehoods pushed by the media could easily be debunked. This was only compounded when outlets like Mic continued to harass and attack gamers for the sake of virtue signaling, such as when they published a tirade against #GamerGate in defense of Mass Effect: Andromeda, going as far as to stick up for former BioWare Montreal game designer, Manveer Heir, who was openly racist against whites.
Well, now that Mic’s staff are jobless and seeking work, maybe they can attempt to find a job working as writers on Manveer Heir’s upcoming indie project? That’s assuming whoever is applying for the job isn’t white.
Regardless of the outcome, Mic’s decision to get woke and go broke has managed to land them on the Get Woke, Go Broke Master List.