Citysearch Lays Off Editorial Employees, Less Than 3% Of Staff

We’ve gotten word that local online guide Citysearch has just laid off part of its editorial department in an continuing effort to reposition itself. The Citysearch business unit of IAC recently rebranded itself as CityGrid Media, which includes the Citysearch listings service, the CityGrid ad network, Urbanspoon and InsiderPages.

Kara Nortman, Senior Vice President of Publishing for CityGrid Media, tells TechCrunch that layoffs are an outgrowth of the philosophical restructuring of the group’s editorial component, “As part of our evolution to CityGrid, we’re moving to a more automated experience on Citysearch, migrating from full time staff into freelance staff.”

The move from in-house to freelance writers reflects the company’s desire to one day become a hub for aggregated local content says Nortman, “Maintaining an editorial staff of the same size doesn’t make sense when we can accomplish the same thing with freelance.”

While Citysearch representatives would not tell TechCrunch exactly how many of its over 400 employees remained in the editorial department, they did emphasize that the layoffs did not extend to the entire editorial team.

Citysearch is still hiring in other branches of the company and traffic in the entire CityGrid Media portfolio is rising, from 31 million to 37 monthly million uniques over the past year.