According to several sources familiar with the matter, HuffPost Live will be shutting down its Los Angeles office. About twenty staffers worked at the LA outpost, and a number of those losing their positions on the West Coast will be offered the opportunity to move east and join the HuffPost Live team in New York.
This news comes on the heels of yesterday's announcement that HuffPost Live will be expanding internationally. A source explained that it was a simple calculation: in the search for better traction the company was shifting its focus to a more global audience. But since the overall budget was not expanding, something had to give, and the LA office got the axe.
Going global means cuts at home
HuffPost Live, founded a little over one year ago, has reportedly been a very expensive project, with around 100 employees putting out 12–16 hours of live video content each day. So far sources say the investment has not paid off: while HuffPost Live claims 13 million unique monthly viewers, this audience is mostly watching pre-recorded video posted to The Huffington Post. In terms of a live audience, the numbers are around 2 million each month.
"In keeping with The Huffington Post’s continuing international growth — with 40 percent of the site’s audience now coming from outside the US — HuffPost Live yesterday announced it was going global," says Jessica Hanks, Huffington Post's director of communications. "As a result of this shift in focus and resources, HuffPost Live will no longer maintain a production team in Los Angeles. Over two-thirds of HuffPost Live’s LA-based team has been invited to relocate to our New York studio."