At least about 20-30 employees were laid off at G4TV today, according to three sources close to the business. Talk show video game network from the 2000s revived last fall on streaming platforms like Twitch as well as cable TV, but now faces massive upheaval less than a year later. One employee said: “I really can’t imagine the company continuing to produce content without the people we lost today.
The timing and severity of the cuts surprised staff, with talent appearing on set today ready to film only to have the show canceled when HR representatives met with employees privately. While it is unclear what the extent of layoffs will be, one source said those affected have been told they will receive anywhere from 16 weeks to six months severance based on their tenure. them with Comcast, the parent company of G4.
Three sources said Kotaku that G4’s finances have been in bad shape for some time and that managers are tasked with finding cost savings wherever possible. Everything seemed to have happened in a duel a few months ago when then-G4 president Russell Arons discussed the troubles the business was facing and suggested Unrealistic revenue target for next year. One source said employees felt clouded by the lack of clear goals to measure success up to that point.
Arons left shortly after and was replaced by Comcast Spectator CEO Joe Marsh, who sources say were only interested in finding ways to cut the budget.. However, the abruptness and severity of today’s layoffs are unexpected and raise questions about what the future of the new G4 holds. The network recently announced a bunch of new content, including a satirical Xplay show called God of worka hit play by Sony God of War series.
Originally launched in 2002 by Comcast, G4 was the one-stop shop for TV gaming news, reviews, and discussion at the time. Its main programs are 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 when video game content moved online.
The network then relaunched in November 2021 with a mix of old and new talent, as well as plans to stream daily content on Twitch and other platforms in addition to being hosted on cable. In addition to Sessler and Pereira returning, new hosts included pro wrestler Austin “Xavier Woods” Watson, Indiana “Froskurinn” Black, Jirard “The Completionist” Khaliland, Fiona Nova, and many others.
The relaunch was reportedly the brain child of Tucker Roberts, the son of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Tucker led the cable and internet company’s move into esports and is currently the president of the competitive Overwatch team, Philadelphia Fusion. According to one source, however, Tucker stepped away from G4 operations back in March.
Update: 9/14/22 6:05 p.m. ET: Added more information about how staff learned about cuts.