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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Leaf Group CEO Steps Down Because the Writer Faces Monetary Woes

The chief govt of Leaf Group, Sean Moriarty, stepped down from the position after 9 years final week because the media firm faces monetary headwinds and stress from its possession group, Graham Holdings Firm, to reverse its business struggles, in line with folks aware of the matter.

A spokesperson for Graham Holdings Firm, Pinkie Mayfield, confirmed the departure.

Moriarty will probably be changed on an interim foundation by Timothy J. O’Shaughnessy, the president and CEO of Graham Holdings Firm and the husband of Laura Graham O’Shaughnessy, the granddaughter of Katharine Graham, the previous writer of The Washington Submit.

Moriarty has served as CEO of Leaf Group since 2014, the place he performed an instrumental position in reinventing the media firm as soon as often called Demand Media. 

Fortunes reversed since thriving through the pandemic

After rebranding in 2016, Leaf Group embraced a business mannequin that blended commerce from its artwork marketplaces, Society6 and Saatchi Artwork, and promoting from its portfolio of publishers, which incorporates titles like Nicely + Good, Livestrong and eHow.

The corporate noticed demand for its artwork marketplaces skyrocket through the early days of the pandemic, when a mixture of things, together with stay-at-home measures and stimulus checks, led shoppers to spend lavishly on dwelling renovation and decor.

Within the first quarter of 2021, Leaf Group noticed its general income rise 58% yr over yr, from $33 million to $52 million, in line with public filings. Income from Society6 alone rose 106% yr over yr, from $16 million to $33 million, whereas income from its media group declined barely, from $14.1 million to $13.9 million.

Though Leaf Group closed that quarter at a $6.3 million loss, its revenues had grown enormously and its deficit shrank by $4.4 million.

These constructive trendlines helped persuade Graham Holdings Firm to amass Leaf Group in June 2021 for $348 million. 

Graham Holdings Firm, which owns a portfolio of companies starting from restaurant teams to automobile dealerships, has an intensive background in media. It owns each Slate and Overseas Coverage, and it has purchased and bought each The Washington Submit and Newsweek.

Nonetheless, the situations that led revenues at Leaf Group to spike quickly started to recede. 

As pandemic restrictions eased, client spending on dwelling renovation and decor dwindled, and urge for food for direct-to-consumer artwork companies like Society6 declined, in line with folks aware of its funds. By October 2022, Society6 was on tempo to lose roughly $10 million on revenues of between $100 and $150 million.

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