Full PhillyMag memo to staff announcing cutbacks

David Lipson, president of both Philadelphia and Boston magazines, sent the following memo company-wide on Wednesday, which mentions merging design teams and cuts to both publications.

To our staff:

As we continue to create first rate journalism that is distributed through various channels, produce the best lifestyle events in our markets and develop marketing solutions that meet and exceed client expectations, we are demonstrating how a media company can navigate the media business today. After a difficult 2015 we pulled off a strong financial turnaround in 2016 resulting in a profitable year. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone for their hard work and dedication to our company.

As the year came to an end, I had time to reflect on our business and decided it was time to establish new long term goals for Metrocorp. We must focus on creating sustainable growth and transform our organization to thrive in the long term. This will take considerable work and better prioritization of our resources.

Today I am announcing a business plan that calls for greater efficiency, a tightening of our editorial mission and the launch of an initiative to establish better operating standards and innovative advertising products. The plan includes the following:

· We are merging our design teams in each city. Going forward, each city will operate with a single design team serving both editorial and sales/marketing in that market. The design of our brands is crucial, and we believe this change will make the look of products even more cohesive. Eric Mongeon will oversee our efforts in Boston, with team members Toan Trinh, Michele Snow, Tommy White and Joe DiIanni. Jamie Leary will lead our efforts in Philadelphia, with team members Alyse Moyer, Brandon McArdle, Roman King and Claudia Gavin.

· We are reviewing other common services utilized in each city and we will adopt one common methodology and process that will apply to all our operations. These changes will allow us to operate more cohesively and adapt more quickly to changes in the market.

· We are eliminating the Birds 24/7 channel in Philadelphia. Our Eagles coverage has generated a strong following among fans, but making a successful business out of it has been a challenge. While I believe we brought a new way to cover the Eagles (both founders of the blog have since been hired by ESPN), we re-energized our competition and now there is a glut of coverage.

· In order to invest in areas for future growth and focus our efforts towards our most profitable product lines, we have completed a restructuring of our staff through a combination of attrition and the elimination of seven other positions across our company. Cutbacks like these are always difficult and painful, but they are necessary for the overall continued health of our company.

· As previously announced, Kaitlyn David will move into the new role of director of content strategy for City Studio. Kaitlyn is a strong creative talent, and having her focus all of her energies on City Studio gives us an excellent building block in an exciting and growing part of our business.

· The company’s leadership will meet in February for a retreat with the goal of establishing best practices and tools that increase our company’s efficiency and to refine our advertising products in an effort to bring simplicity and scale.

I will continue to update you with our progress at our Town Halls and invite you to meet with me if you wish. I feel confident that with the talent that we have in the company, our best days are ahead of us.