Gawker broke the news last week that DailyCandy was going to cut down on the sweets in more than half of the 11 U.S. cities that the food, fashion, and shopping e-newsletter serves. Beginning next month, DailyCandy subscribers in seven markets, including Philadelphia and Washington D.C., will receive local content only two times a week, plus a national “Everywhere” newsletter.
DailyCandy’s shift in business strategy will result in six local editors losing their jobs at the end of the month, including D.C. editor Erin Hartigan, a former Going Out Guru for the Washington Post. According to Meredith Howard, director of communications for DailyCandy, the soon-to-be sacked employees have been asked to continue as “contributing editors,” including Hartigan, but Howard didn’t know how many had taken up the offer yet.
“We are all very upset about it,” Howard says about the layoffs. She said it had nothing to do with the performance of any of the editors.
Howard also denied that the layoffs had anything to do with Comcast, the parent company of DailyCandy, and its recent deal to acquire a stake in NBC Universal or with the pricetag that Comcast paid to buy DailyCandy (reportedly $125 million, but Howard can’t confirm that figure).
The spokesperson said that while all 11 markets are still important to DailyCandy, the company plans to throw more resources into the larger ones such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. But Howard also noted that the economic downturn has affected the number of businesses that DailyCandy editors can write about in their respective cities.
DailyCandy will hire six new people in its New York office, Howard noted, so there actually is a no net-loss of employees. She thought some of the new hires would include editorial talent.
As for Hartigan, she e-mails that she was taken by surprise by last week’s announcement. She still hasn’t made any decision on whether to keep working for DailyCandy as a contributing editor, although she’s “keeping my options open.”
“I’m writing and publishing on our regular weekday schedule through the end of the year,” she adds, “so that’s occupying most of my brain power right now.”
Hartigan says she has felt lucky to serve up daily sweets to D.C. subscribers, who in turn were enthusiastic to get their e-Candy.
“When the news broke, there was a really nice outpouring of support both to me and across social media,” Hartigan writes. “From what I’ve read, people are disappointed (I am, too). While the new D.C. events e-mails will publish twice a week, the content will continue to break news of restaurant and store openings as well as great events, so that will be a good supplement to the new format.”