Millennial conservative site lays off staff after Facebook change

Millennial conservative site lays off staff after Facebook change
© Ali Breland
The Independent Journal Review, a conservative site aimed at millennials, fired 15 employees on Thursday in what's being described as "a massive blow to the already-skeleton staff." 
 
The terminations were sent via email, according to the Daily Caller, which first reported the lay-offs. 

“They were really careful this time. Everything was sent individually. Mine was a simple ‘your position was one of those terminated,'” one staffer told the Daily Caller.

A sharp decline in traffic is likely the cause behind the firings, with SimilarWeb.com analytics showing more than a 13 percent drop from November to January alone. 

A source close to IJR who requested anonymity told the Hill that IJR suffered from both "erratic leadership" and changes to the Facebook algorithm, which recently started downplaying news stories in users' feed.

"Ninety-eight percent of the their traffic comes from Facebook," the source said. "And with the newsfeed changes they got hit hard, not to mention erratic leadership at the top."

"How they fired these employees is horrible," the source continued. "A lot of the people laid off were long-term employees." 

"Getting rid of the super-talented veteran staff is a bad sign. They are left with a few rookies and interns," the source added.

IJR was founded by former political adviser Alex Skatell in 2012 as part of the Media Group of America. Skatell also once served as media director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.  
 
Media Group of America describes itself as "a private holding company with investments in news, lifestyle, and engagement brands — that uses social media and mobile technology to inform, inspire, and impact."
 
The Hill has reached out to IJR for comment.