The move by b5media yesterday to terminate the contracts of over 50 bloggers writing for its now defunct entertainment network is the first stage in the mass firing of all contract bloggers, The Inquisitr has learned.
The full number of bloggers to be fired remains unclear at the time of writing, but is believed to be somewhere between 100 and 150 contract bloggers.
Confirmation of the move is backed by former Gawker Editor Elizabeth Spiers, who would now appear to have taken a senior role at the company.
On her personal blog, Spiers writes
One of my larger clients is launching a new lifestyle site and relaunching three others and I need new staffers for all of them. (We’re basically tearing them down and starting over—redesigning them, restructuring editorially and adding lots of new original content.)
On her Tumblr blog she confirms that the client is b5media:
More background on Crushable and what else I’ve been working on: one of my clients is b5media a Toronto-based (but quickly moving to New York) web publishing network
Notably Spiers also claims that b5media is doing 30 million page views a month across the network currently, a claim so fanciful I've only just stopped laughing after reading it (see the Alexa ranks for the remaining sites in this post.) But I digress.
Spiers does bring experience to the role, having worked at both Gawker and MediaBistro, however this is her first time running (alone) a multi-title content network like this (note she was a founder of Dead Horse Media.) The decision to not include existing content in new pop blog Crushable may indicate that she is may be already be out of her depth when it comes to simple things like SEO and the value of Google.
To rub salt into the wounds of existing bloggers for the network, Spiers is also advertising for contributors; we'd guess that this may indicate a shift of payment model from b5media's previous mix of rev share and flat rates to a payment per post model.
If you're writing for b5media currently and haven't started looking for a new writing gig yet, now would be a good time to start.