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Complex is the latest media company to lay off staff amid a pivot to video

The company said goodbye to some of its product team Friday.

AWXII - Day 3
Complex Media CEO Rich Antoniello at a 2015 event
Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for AWXII

Complex Networks laid off much of its product team on Friday as the media company rejiggers its personnel a year after being bought by Verizon and Hearst.

Once home to a website and a magazine, the media organization appeals to young male audience. Mark Ecko, the fashion designer, started Complex in 2002, 14 years before it was sold in a deal that reportedly valued it at more than $250 million. The print magazine shuttered at the start of this year.

The company confirmed the layoffs and said the product unit’s function would be integrated into existing teams. The company said the number of those affected was only a “handful” of the company’s 400 employees.

The reason for the firings? The company says it was part of a “pivot to video” that it embarked upon last year.

That’s the same rationale that has accompanied recent layoffs at various publishers, including, MTV, Mashable and Fox Sports

“Since embarking on a rapid expansion into video this past year, we’ve had success in both premium content and across our networks,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve made changes at Complex Networks to ensure we remain efficient, nimble and focused on areas that will deliver on our vision.”

Complex said it had launched more than 30 short story video series on YouTube and elsewhere and was adding staff to its video team.

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