Social networking site Bebo has been forced to cut jobs and freeze its web TV projects such as KateModern, following cutbacks at its parent company AOL. The move will see Bebo freezing commissions from its web TV production arm, which has been responsible for shows including KateModern, Sofia’s Diary, The Secret World of Sam King and The Gap Year.
The social networking site aimed at teens is making redundancies at its UK, US and Australian operations. The company employs around 20 staff in the UK and it is understood the team will be cut back to a minimum.
The move follows the announcement by its parent company, AOL, that about 100 employees from across its total operation would be cut. AOL bought Bebo for $850m in 2008.
Bebo has entered into a consultation process with UK staff, with existing web TV shows continuing to run until current commissions finish up at the end of the year.
“We are in the process of re-aligning the Bebo business and need to make sure that our resources are aligned with our new business mode in order to execute effectively against our future vision and stay competitive,” said a spokeswoman for AOL. “We are therefore required to make some difficult decisions about the future of our organisation and its people in order to stay competitive.” The company added that it may return to web TV productions but admitted that, with a greatly reduced staff count, any plans were now on the back burner.
Bebo claims not to have lost money on any of its web TV ventures: all have been co-funded by sponsors or advertisers from the commissioning stage.