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Staffers at Gimlet and Parcast’s unions said Friday they were “blindsided” by Spotify’s decision to cancel a slate of original podcasts and lay off “at least” 38 employees at the studios, criticizing the audio giant for not giving enough marketing support or providing clear listenership goals for impacted production staff.
In a joint statement, the Gimlet and Parcast unions said the layoffs resulted in each of their bargaining units losing about 30 percent of their members. The Gimlet union has 50 unit members, while the Parcast union has 49, according to a spokesperson for the Writers Guild of America, East. “These aren’t small cuts, they are massive restructurings,” the unions said. “Each shop has lost seasoned producers, writers and editors.”
Spotify also allegedly gave some impacted employees “as little as an hour to close out their work” after being informed of the cancellations, according to the statement, and said that the company “failed to give any explanation for how they evaluated who would be let go.”
The unions said, “Yesterday, Spotify chose to create chaos instead of treating employees with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
A representative for Spotify declined to comment.
On Thursday, THR reported that Spotify will be canceling 10 of its original podcasts from Gimlet and Parcast next month, with an additional 11th show slated for cancellation early next year. The impacted shows are Gimlet’s How To Save a Planet, Crime Show and Every Little Thing and Parcast’s Medical Murders, Female Criminals, Crimes of Passion, Dictator, Mythology, Haunted Places, Urban Legends and Horoscope Today. Spotify currently has a slate of more than 500 original and exclusive shows produced across its four in-house studios, which also include The Ringer and Spotify Studios.
See the full statement below.
Katie Kilkenny contributed to this report.
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