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Examiner.com lays off members of senior staff at Colorado headquarters

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Examiner.com, an ambitious online content provider that's part of mega-rich Phil Anschutz's media empire, underwent a restructuring at its Denver headquarters this morning that's resulted in a number of layoffs. While senior director of public relations Justin Jimenez isn't revealing how many employees were affected, he confirms that members of the "senior staff" were among them. Yet he sees what's taking place as a "positive evolution" for the company.

"We did go through a restructuring this morning," Jimenez confirms. "As we've developed our systems and our work flow, we've developed some pretty dynamic technology that allows us to operate at a high degree of efficiency.... We're focusing more on automation and platform functionality, and that resulted in this restructuring of the company.

"Our team here has been absolutely phenomenal in exploring efficiencies, exploring better ways to operationalize. And unfortunately, that does result in occasional downsizing."

Jimenez notes that "being a privately held company, I am unable to disclose the number of employees impacted by this change." However, he reveals that "we did say goodbye to some of the people on our senior staff."

Even so, Jimenez adds, "no operations as they pertain to the management of our contributors or the daily creation of high-quality, original content will be impacted by this restructuring."

Moreover, he believes "this evolution is very positive for allowing us to invest more in emerging opportunities and growing the experience for our contributors."

Those contributors are key to the Examiner.com citizen-journalism model. According to Jimenez, more than 85,000 people across the country serve as "Examiners," usually focusing on specific areas of expertise. with payment based largely on the number of pageviews they generate.

As for those investments, Jimenez touts OnTopic, a business-to-business, or B2B, branch that "creates on-demand content for brands, publishers and marketers across the board. We're leveraging our contributor base to make sure we're providing more opportunities to contributors who've been with us to create a revenue stream independent of advertising."

Among OnTopic's current clients is CBS Local Digital Media; entertainment and lifestyle pieces created for CBS' locally targeted properties are being seen in 24 major markets nationwide.

"Examiner.com has really made some positive strides over the past year to increase the experience for the contributors, to make sure everything they do is being promoted, and that we continue to increase the quality of the content," Jimenez allows. "We're growing and nurturing our contributors to make sure they have the support they need to succeed."

That won't change because of the layoffs, Jimenez maintains. To the contrary, he sees the downsizing as "a very strong indication that we're growing as a company -- that we've identified where our strengths are and where we can really double down and grow the most lucrative aspects of our business.

"It's never easy to say goodbye to talented people," he acknowledges. "But we feel like this is a positive evolution."

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More from our Media archive: "The Examiner.com-NowPublic marriage and the rise of 'info-snacking.'"

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