July 18, 2016 Last Updated 11:57 am

Etienne Uzac steps aside as CEO of IBT Media, as digital media company continues downsizing

This website used to get inundated with press releases from IBT Media, usually announcing hirings, It was a tough call concerning whether to run the notices, but in an industry that usually is associated with layoffs, any news of hirings is nice to see.

But when I think of IBT Media it is hard not to think of its beginnings. The website International Business Times began as a clickbait factory, one that Google used allow to flood Google News with nonsense along with a ton of aggregated content. Then it bought Newsweek (probably for next to nothing) and it was hard not to take IBT Media seriously – at least for a while.

IBT Media always felt like it was run on a shoestring budget. Reports like this one from Mother Jones and Fortune wondered just who was behind IBT Media. I was more concerned with the quality of its journalism and its business acumen.


Left to right: IBT Media executives Etienne Uzac; Johnathan Davis; Dev Pragad

IBT Media was founded about a decade ago by Etienne Uzac, who has served as CEO, and Johnathan Davis, who serves as Chief Content Officer. Just who are these guys, and why are they running a media company? I could never understand it, and really still don’t.

One might have been impressed that the company could pull off an acquisition of Newsweek, except that the magazine seemed to be going nowhere, with its circulation never audited, and rumored to be kept at about 100K. Now it has been spun-off, and a rash of layoffs begun throughout the company.

AdAge today reported that Dev Pragad, who joined the company in 2009 to run its European operations, will take over the North American operations, as well. Uzac will become chairman. But it is all a bit shadowy, isn’t it? What is really left of the North American operations, with Newsweek gone, IBT Media editor in chief Peter Goodman leaving, and staff layoffs occurring in both LA and NYC.

(Emily Scheer, who used to be IBT Media’s Public Relations Director, left last month to become Public Relations Manager at Foursquare, one reason I haven’t heard directly from the media company for awhile.)

Uzac not becomes chairman of the company, but that role will entail is hard to say. Uzac founded IBT Media after graduating college, so it is not as if he will be going off to another media company. He is IBT Media, and IBT Media is Uzac… unless IBT Media is really something else.

Note: There is some good news surrounding IBT Media – Kerry Flynn (@kerrymflynn) who has been tech reporter there is moving to Mashable. Maria Gallucci (@mariagallucci), who was Energy & Environment Reporter at IBT, is moving to Mashable, as well.

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