Gannett Co. will eliminate local staffing for its KARE-affiliated entertainment site Metromix Twin Cities, according to a company spokeswoman. “Express Metromix” will replace the site, aggregating event and entertainment data from other sources.
Gannett Director of Corporate Communications Laura Dalton says Metromix staffing will be eliminated at seven broadcast sites Metromix operated in, such as KARE. “The decision was made because the business model did not prove to be effective in broadcast,” Dalton says.
Metromix, which debuted in 2007, was KARE owner Gannett Co.’s big web play for the youth market, competing against City Pages, vita.mn, Yelp and other entertainment sites. One seeming advantage: face time on KARE.
However, Gannett has been dogged by slumping sales (and criticism of executive pay). In October, the chain shuttered its mom blog, Moms Like Me. Gannett has spoken of husbanding its cash for “core news products … local services … and new product development.”
Dalton says Gannett has offered eight Metromix workers nationwide other jobs in the chain. “Nine employees total across the division were let go,” she notes.
The site’s Twitter page lists four employees: manager Laura Stokes Thompson, web producer Blair Shackle, reporter Shayne Wells, and marketing/social media staffer Katie Schutrop. None could be immediately reached for comment about their status. The site also uses freelancers who are presumably out of a gig.