Verizon Media Group cutting 800 jobs: report

Verizon Media Group
In December, Verizon revealed in an SEC filing that Verizon Media Group is expecting to record a noncash goodwill impairment charge of approximately $4.6 billion during the fourth quarter. (Verizon Media Group)

The beleaguered Verizon Media Group (formerly Oath) is reportedly cutting 7% of its U.S. and international workforce, which works out to about 800 jobs eliminated.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the cuts are coming after a lengthy review of the unit by new CEO K. Guru Gowrappan, who told employees that the media group would be refocusing its efforts. He said the group would be focusing on creating mobile and video products as well as content for its existing properties within Yahoo and elsewhere. He said that Yahoo’s news and entertainment platforms would be key drivers for the media group moving forward.

Verizon did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation of the job cuts.

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Earlier this month, Gowrappan announced the Oath was officially becoming the Verizon Media Group. He used the rest of his blog post to highlight moves Verizon Media Group has made this year including consolidating its advertising tech platforms and rolling out new formats such as digital out-of-home, connected TV and programmatic audio.

RELATED: Verizon officially dumps the Oath name for its media group

But the media group has struggled as Verizon, under new CEO Hans Vestberg, has placed more focus on its network and less on providing linear and OTT video products.

In December, Verizon revealed in an SEC filing that Verizon Media Group is expecting to record a noncash goodwill impairment charge of approximately $4.6 billion during the fourth quarter. The company arrived at that figure after Vestberg and Gowrappan hammered out a new five-year strategic planning review of the segment's business prospects. The resulting revised projections for Verizon Media Group were applied in determining the impairment charge.

That writedown came after a third quarter in which Verizon Media Group’s financial performance forced the company to change its long-term revenue targets for the segment.

“Because search and desktop products make up the majority of the Oath business, and we believe pressure in those sectors is likely to continue, we do not expect to meet our previous target of $10 billion of revenue in 2020. The leadership team at Oath is focused on returning to revenue growth by completing the integration of the legacy AOL and Yahoo advertising platforms by year end, implementing initiatives to realize synergies across all of our media assets, and building services around our core content pillars of sports, news, finance and entertainment,” said Verizon CFO Matt Ellis during an earnings call.

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