G4TV is hit with major layoffs less than a year after its return
At least between 20 and 30 employees have been laid off at G4TV today, according to three sources familiar with the business. The video game talk show network from the 2000s was revived last fall on streaming platforms like Twitch as well as cable TV, but is facing a major upheaval less than a year later. “I really can’t imagine the company continuing to produce our content without the people we lost today,” said one employee.
The timing and severity of the cuts surprised staff, as today talent showed up on set willing to film, only to have programming canceled as staff representatives met with staff individually. Although the extent of the layoffs isn’t clear, a source said those affected were told they would receive between 16 weeks and six months of severance pay based on their tenure at Comcast, G4’s parent company.
Three sources say kotaku that G4’s finances have been in poor shape for some time and managers have been tasked to seek cost-cutting wherever possible. Things apparently came to a head during a stakeholder meeting a few months ago when then-G4 President Russell Arons discussed the issues the company was facing and made suggestions unrealistic sales targets for the next year. Employees felt caught off guard, a source said, because up to that point there had been a lack of clear goals against which to measure success.
Arons left the company shortly thereafter and was replaced by Comcast Spectator CEO Joe Marsh, who, according to sources, was only interested in finding ways to cut the budget. However, the suddenness and severity of today’s layoffs were unexpected and cast doubt on the future of the new G4. The network recently announced a slew of new content, including a satirical show called Xplay god of worka play on Sony’s hit God of War Series.
Originally launched by Comcast in 2002, G4 was the single source for gaming news, reviews and discussions on television at the time. His main shows were Xplayhosted by Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb, and Attack of the show!, hosted by Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira. Those shows were eventually canceled in 2012, and the network shut down a few years later as gaming video content migrated online.
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The network then relaunched in November 2021 with a mix of old and new talent and plans to stream daily content on Twitch and other platforms in addition to hosting on cable. Along with the return of Sessler and Pereira, new hosts included pro wrestlers Austin “Xavier Woods” Watson, Indiana “Froskurinn” Black, Jirard “The Completionist” Khaliland, Fiona Nova and many others.
The relaunch was reportedly the brainchild of Tucker Roberts, son of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Tucker led the cable and internet company’s entry into esports and is currently the president of the competition over watch Team, Philadelphia Fusion. However, according to a source, Tucker resigned from G4 operations back in March.
Updated: 9/14/22 6:05 PM ET: Added more information on how employees found out about cuts.
https://kotaku.com/g4tv-layoffs-twitch-x-play-adam-sessler-g4-1849537114 G4TV is hit with major layoffs less than a year after its return