Tumblr axes editorial team behind Storyboard 'experiment'

Saying it "couldn't be happier" with its effort, blogging platform lays off writers hired to cover Tumblr as a "living, breathing community."

Tumblr Storyboard. Tumblr

Blogging platform Tumblr has pulled the plug on Storyboard, its year-old "ambitious experiment" with journalists covering Tumblr as a "living, breathing community."

Saying that he "couldn't be happier" with the editorial team's effort, Tumblr CEO David Karp announced that the unit would be shuttered and its employees laid off.

"What we've accomplished with Storyboard has run its course for now, and our editorial team will be closing up shop and moving on," Karp wrote. "I want to personally thank them for their great work."

Despite accomplishments involving "hundreds of stories and videos, features by publishers ranging from Time to MTV to WNYC," a Tumblr representative told Betabeat that the layoffs involve three employees.

One of those three is Executive Editor Jessica Bennett, who tweeted the news this evening:

Editor in Chief Chris Mohney also appears to be affected by the cuts, according to a post today on his Tumblr account.

"Hey looks like I got some free time coming up," he wrote. "Let me know if you want to hang out!"

Storyboard producer Sky Dylan-Robbins confirmed to CNET that the three were laid off after revealing her unemployment on Twitter:

The unit's closure comes a little more than a month after Bloomberg reported that the 6-year-old blog network expected to reach profitability in 2013. Once an opponent of allowing advertising on the site, Tumblr now collects "just under six figures" for the average advertising purchase on the site, Lee Brown, head of sales, told Bloomberg.

"We expect that the monetization will lead us to profitability this year," Brown said.

Updated at 9 a.m. PT with Sky Dylan-Robbins information.

 

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