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Management Shakeup And Layoffs At Pushkin As Company Looks Toward Profitability.

Pushkin Industries is reportedly overhauling its management team and scaling back some of its ambitions as it cuts roughly a third of the staff at the audio production company that is home to such shows as Revisionist History and Broken Record. Founded in 2018 by Malcom Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg, Bloomberg reports Pushkin has been hurt by the scaling back of work with some of the biggest players as they too have examined expenses.

As part of the changes, Weisberg will relinquish his role as CEO. He will instead become Executive Chairman, as he tells Bloomberg that he will spend more time working on projects outside of Pushkin. Gladwell will transition from being President to serving as Editorial Director. Day to day management will now fall to Gretta Cohn, who becomes President of Pushkin. She joined the company last year when Pushkin bought her studio Transmitter Media.

That deal increased the size of Pushkin’s payroll, but in a move to reach profitability in 2024, Weisberg said they will be implementing a second round of layoffs this year. He tells Bloomberg that 17 of Pushkin’s 54 employees will be dismissed, including some members of the management team – although he did not identify who will be let go.

In addition to its acquisition of Transmitter last year, Pushkin has been in growth mode. It had signed a first-look deal with A24, the indie studio behind TV shows and movies like “Euphoria” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Pushkin said it was also moving deeper into the production of audiobooks. But other deals dried up, like a distribution deal with Amazon that reportedly cratered after Amazon lowered its offer.

“What I think has changed and had such a big effect is the position of some of the biggest players,” Weisberg tells Bloomberg. “All these companies were investing a lot in podcasting and pulled back dramatically.”

Pushkin shows have been distributed and sold to advertisers by iHeartPodcasts since 2020.

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