More than 100 people have reportedly lost their jobs after CollegeHumor parent company IAC pulled out of its financing of CH Media, leaving CollegeHumor and Dropout CCO Sam Reich as the company’s majority owner. Along with Dropout, the CollegeHumor layoffs also affected CH Media sites Dorkly and Drawfee.
Reich announced the layoffs on Twitter, saying “100+ brilliant people” lost their jobs as a result of IAC’s departure. According to Reich, CH Media was “on the way to becoming profitable” but still losing money, leading to IAC’s decision. Reich said he hopes to save the CH Media sites as a supply of already-produced Dropout (a comedy-focused streaming service) content rolls out in the next six months. “Dropout 2.0,” Reich added, will launch at the end of the month, allowing international access of the site’s Discord and allowing users to download episodes for watching on the go.
I will, however, do my very best to stay true to the talent, shows, fans, and principles that got us where we are today.
We dropped out once before; we can do it again. Independent comedy lives on — just now more independent (gulp) than ever before.
— samreich (@samreich) January 8, 2020
While the Dropout, Dorkly, and CollegeHumor brands have yet to address about the layoffs in an official capacity at the time of writing, the official Drawfee Twitter account released a statement. The team is putting a hold on normal live-produced content for the week, but it will release a video soon addressing Drawfee’s future. Videos already produced for this week will also post as normal. Drawfee host Jacob Andrews later added that “This isn’t the end […] for Drawfee.”
As you’ve probably heard by now, everyone in the CH Media family is being laid off today, including myself. Getting to work here literally changed the course of my life and I will always be grateful for that. This isn’t the end for me or for Drawfee, so don’t worry: pic.twitter.com/cDTpR9iF2o
— Jacob Andrews (@FLoaBComic) January 8, 2020
Following the news of the layoffs, many of the former CH Media employees — such as Tristan Cooper, creator of the famous “Can You Pet The Dog?” gaming Twitter account — began tweeting callouts for those hiring comedians, writers, and video producers.
CH Media’s layoffs are the latest in a string of high-profile media labor controversies. G/O Media, parent company of gaming site Kotaku, recently saw a mass exodus in writers, with most of Deadspin’s staff members quitting after G/O told them to “stick to sports.” As continued in the replies to some of the former CH Media employees’ tweets, controversies like these have sparked conversations about the need for unionization among media workers.