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Holiday Greetings from Demand!

scary santaHey kids!

Hope your turkey day was great! Haven’t ducked into DMS lately so missed this bit o’ news, but, luckily, regular DSSer DMSIPO IPO DMS was on the spot!

Demand Media’s go-to, “We need someone to lie to the writers,” employee, Jordan Decker, just posted an announcement about the studio closing for the Holidays.

When writers and CEs queried him further, he wrote, “You will not be able to access any part the Studio during the holiday observance,” and “The Studio will be completely closed. ” 

He does say, “Yes, the Studio is going to reopen on January 2. It’s business as usual once we reopen,” but Jordan has previously flat-out lied to writers before a project was shut down before.

This comes on the heels of Demand shutting down LIVESTRONG assignments and business, finance and careers titles beginning to dry up. Someone pointed out this might be a decision to reduce costs toward the end of the quarter to make the company’s next earnings reports look better. However, Demand needs to trim millions in losses, and I don’t think 14 days of writer and CE pay is going to hurt their numbers that much.

I don’t know if Demand is shutting down its content side just yet, but I would not be shocked if things aren’t the same after January 1. Don’t plan on a nice little vacation if you rely on Demand for your living. I’d write your ass off until December 18, then use the rest of the year to find other work.

THE WRITING ON THE WALL…

Hello everyone,

DMS is doing something a little different for the holidays. This year we are planning to close the Studio for the December holidays to give our own staff a chance to take a break and spend time with friends and family. We are hoping that all of you are able to do the same.

Since this change affects your payment schedule, we wanted to give you sufficient notice now. We’re currently planning to make December 18 the last day to submit assignments for payment which will have the final payment of the year going out on December 20. Normal payments will resume on January 7.

We’re going to make special accommodations so that anything you’re working on when the Studio closes will remain in your queue until we’re back from the holidays. We’ll be sharing more details about logistics and assignment extensions in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for future emails.

Happy holidays!

7 comments to Holiday Greetings from Demand!

  • Shadow Dansir

    Demonize,

    $5,000 says they open on January 2, just like they said the would, with the same site, and the same number of writers and CEs. It will be business as usual.

    Hey, we can bet Monopoly money on the outcome, and return here on January 3 to see who won. You know, just for fun.

    Or, how’s this: Loser must reveal his true identity.

    Don’t make that bet. You will lose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • Shadow Dansir

    Hey Danny, you posted;
    “We are sticking you with the losing content side of the business and letting others own the registrar side”?

    Let me explain how this works:

    Public Company A decides to spin-off into Company B.

    Company A MUST award the shareholders in A shares in Company B. It’s not generosity on the part of Company A. It’s the law.

    The company A shareholders pay NOTHING for the shares in Company B.

    The number of shares will depend on numerous factors, but Company A must award the shareholders and option holders at least one-half share in Company B for every share they own in Company A.

    It’s possible that the shareholders will receive an even match, one share of B for every share of A.

    So, anyone purchasing Demand stock today when, according to many analysts, it’s selling at an artificially low price, will actually be buying 2 share or 1.5 shares for the price of one.

    Stock Market 101.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Sam Walton

    No, it’s over at Demand. There haven’t been any assignments in numerous categories all week/weekend. I think the “Studio” would probably be closed now except for the hope that the freelancers have enough personal integrity to finish the work that’s out now and in so doing keep up the appearance for the (few) fulltime staff and (few) stockholders that some sort of business is happening and that this is just a “natural” holiday slowdown – so many people going on vacation to Vail, don’t you know…

    What suck the most to me is the midlevel apparatchiks who no doubt are refugees from “real” media who’ve been laid off themselves who won’t give the writers a heads-up about what’s actually going on.

    Interestingly the writers named to the ‘ACE’ team are some of the worst – borderline English skills and a few straight-up racists, truthers, homeschooler mommy bloggers, homophobes…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Paging Dandy Don...

    I see DMS still being around after January 2, with some major changes, based on how they’re handling this announcement (and the fact that Jordan Decker made it). Don’t know what they’ll be, but I would not be surprised if a large number of writers are terminated and the pay is lowered. The new (stand-alone) content company will no longer be able to subsidize its losses with money from the registrar side. If the spinoff occurs, maybe the only way the content side can stay alive is to cut expenses to next-to-nothing and just live off what they make from content they’ve already created. They’d need to keep a few writers to keep their library “fresh” but wouldn’t need 1,000 writers to do that. That might mean cutting many of the 600 full-time Santa Monica employees, too.

    They might go with a lower number of writers who can commit to full-time or close to it so that these remaining writers can generate enough money to make a living at the lower rates. Maybe the ACE writer program was a test to see who could produce consistently in anticipation of this new strategy. That’s what they did with LIVESTRONG when they cut that program back in 2011. They only used about two dozen handpicked writers to produce features and slide shows and basically set the rest of their writers adrift.

    I wonder how they can tell the stockholders, “We are sticking you with the losing content side of the business and letting others own the registrar side”? I would have thought that they would have sold the content side and let the stockholders remain with the registrar company. However, a Forbes or WSJ article shows a new name for the registrar company.

    I do have to give DMS kudos for employee loyalty. In the years DSS has been around, we’ve never seen ex-employees come here with any inside scoops. Every company has pissed off workers who get fired or want to quit. I’m shocked that none of those 600 has ever spilled the beans here. Some have at Glassdoor, though.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Demonize DMS

    5$ says they open late with a relatively new site that excludes at least half the writers and ce’s from ever working there again. But only because I’m an optimist. You don’t wanna here what my pessimistic side says is gonna happen…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • Former DMS Drone

    Anyone wanna bet that once Demand Studios closes, it stays closed? >D

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

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