Los Angeles Business Journal

CityGrid Confirms Layoffs

By Natalie Jarvey Monday, July 1, 2013

When Jason Finger, former chief executive of CityGrid Media, laid off 15 percent of his staff in October, he heralded the cuts as part of a transformation for the local advertising company.

But eight months later, Finger is out and the West Hollywood company is laying off employees once again.

IAC, the New York parent company of CityGrid Media, announced Monday that the company has cut its staff.

According to a statement, the layoffs will "increase operating efficiency, reduce costs and have a meaningful impact on the company’s future profitability."

CityGrid, which operates review websites CitySearch, Urbanspoon and Insider Pages, said the streamlined operations will help it "grow the CityGrid Network and increase returns for both publishers and advertisers."

Technology blog TechCrunch first reported the layoffs. According to the report, about 130 employees – or two-thirds of the company – are being let go.

An e-mail to CitySearch employees that restaurant industry blog Eater published in late June claimed 95 percent of CitySearch's team has been laid off. The email, from CitySearch's former head of content David Israel, said the site's revenue did not support its large staff.

Other reports said Seattle-based Urbanspoon was not affected.

This is the second round of layoffs to hit CityGrid in the last year. The company laid off about 67 employees in October. Finger said at the time that the layoffs were the result of a change to its advertising model.

He resigned as chief executive in April and was replaced by acting CEO Ron LaPierre, a former president at PriceGrabber. According to TechCrunch, Pierre has taken a leave of absence to deal with a family matter and is expected to return in August. Until then, IAC executive Andrew Moers has stepped in to lead the company.