Spot Runner is laying off a bunch of people: 100 total if you believe a Valleywag tipster; much less if you believe a company spokesperson, who says the company is only canning 50 people. That smaller number is about 10% of the startup’s workforce.
The company, which raised $111 million from the likes of CBS, WPP and Lachlan Murdoch, tells NewTeeVee the staff changes are part of a “course correct” to re-focus on national advertising, and that it will hire another 40 to 50 people to beef up its national sales force, headed by former MSN sales chief Joanne Bradford.
What seems clear: Spot Runner, which started by focusing on helping mum-and-pop businesses cheaply create and buy local TV ads, is shifting away from that emphasis to a national ad strategy. Local ads have been hit hardest during the ad downturn, which probably explains the shift.
UPDATE: A Spot Runner spokesperson says the new employees haven’t yet been hired, so company headcount is 10% lower since the layoffs began. Also, the company says it’s not pulling away from the local ad market, just adding two other units, one for national and another for online advertising. In other words, Spot Runner is sounding more and more like an ad agency.
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