Huge Layoffs at - Will its Youtube Channel Survive?

The online humour website Cracked has fired a large number of their senior writers, including every star from their Youtube series After Hours and Obsessive Pop Culture Disorder.

This comes after their parent company, Scripps, wrote down the value of the site by $35.7 million earlier this year after buying it in 2016 for $39 million.

The site itself is yet to release a statement on the layoffs, however the site's Executive Editor David Wong wrote in a forum post that the site will continue as normal with the help of existing freelancers and contributors.

There is a core group of editors still here to continue the operation and at this time we still have all contractors/freelancers doing the same stuff as they were doing before. But yes, sadly a lot of staff were let go, particularly a lot of those based on LA, including a lot of the faces you know from video.

The site will continue to publish, we still need article submissions, we still need the freelancers to keep doing their thing (more than ever, actually) but it will be a bit of a scramble in the near term as we figure out who is doing what.
— David Wong, Executive Editor

There is no information on the future of Cracked's Youtube channel, with several of their flagship shows now without their main characters.

After Hours, Some News, Obsessive Pop Culture Disorder and Escort mission are now without hosts. Several more untitled video formats will now require new hosts.

Some of the senior writers affected include Cody Johnston, Daniel O'Brien, Michael Swain, Katy Stoll, Katie Willert, Ian Fortey, John Cheese, Jacopo della Quercia and Josh Sargent.

This wave of layoffs comes after the site's co-founder and host of their podcast, Jack O'Brien, left the site in June this year.

More to come - subscribe to the weekly newsletter to be notified.

Keep on reading! After the break there's some analysis and a personal anecdote about the site.

From our last After Hours shoot. I love these three a whole lot.

A post shared by Katie Willert (@kawillert) on

So, what's next for Cracked? There's a bit to unpack here.

Firstly, there's three editorial sections of the company - The Site, Podcasting and Youtube.

We've seen what's next for the site earlier - it's business as usual according to the site's Executive Editor, David Wong. He is still with the company and appears fiercely committed to its future.

Its Podcasting division has undergone a restructure and expansion after Co-Founder Jack O'Brien's departure. Once a weekly podcast hosted by the Co-Founder, the site now features half a dozen series on various topics, including a revamped weekly podcast hosted by Alex Schmidt. Apart from a few hosts lost to the layoffs, this division looks mostly safe.

Finally, there's's Youtube channel. It has notched up an impressive two million subscribers and more than 700 million views, so it's a pretty valuable part of the company.

There is no statement on the channel's future, but a regular viewer would notice the programming has become more generic in the past year. Fewer series are being made and there is a revolving door of presenters. The channel's long-running series, its major drawcard for fans, now find themselves without their actors/presenters.

Will they be replaced with new people, like the ill-fated attempt to launch a new After Hours spinoff with new actors?

Will they dump the hit shows and focus on what's left of the channel?

Will they bring the writers back just for the shows?

It's doubtful the shows will get unceremoniously dumped and just as unlikely that the same people will host the shows. My best guess is that they will replace the cast and weather the fan backlash. After all, they persevered with Alex Schmidt's New Guy series, even after the strong negative reaction.

It's a sad day for "America's Only Humour Website Since 1958". This is a site I grew up reading, poring over its articles and learning countless pop culture tidbits from its listicles.

Lately I have only watched their Youtube series, which have become cult hits on the site, and it's extremely sad to see them be thrown out the window like this.

I hope the powers that be at Cracked let these shows have some form of closure - or at least a quiet death - but I'm not holding my breath.