The Block, a crypto media company that got caught up in the infamous FTX funding scandal, has laid off roughly one-third of its staff as part of a broader leadership restructuring move.
The mass layoffs are an effort to stabilize and strengthen the company’s position, in wake of the FTX scandal.
The company announced Friday in a note to staff that it has appointed its longtime head of research, Larry Cermak, to the position of chief executive officer. Cermak later confirmed on his Twitter account. He will replace Bobby Moran, the company’s interim CEO, who was laid off as part of the cuts, according to Axios.
Every department at the company has been impacted by the layoffs, but not equally. A spokesperson confirmed that The Block’s revenue team was cut back significantly due to the current market conditions.
The Block has also brought on Evgeny Gaevoy, CEO of digital asset trading firm Wintermute, to join its board, serving alongside Cermak.
“We are not immune to the contraction of the crypto market, and the economy more broadly,” the company said in a statement.
“Ours is a story you hear too often. We grew too quickly to capitalize on a bull market in crypto. Now, we must shift our strategy and recalibrate our teams to align with the reality of the current market.”
Maddy Troy serves as a writer and editor for Barrett News Media, with a specific focus on media business, advertising, and podcasting. You can find her on Twitter @Troy_Maddy.
Steve Wexler Named Interim CEO of Neuhoff Media
Wexler comes to Neuhoff Media after 35 years in radio management.
After current CEO Mike Hulvey was tabbed as the new CEO and President of the Radio Advertising Bureau, Neuhoff Media has tabbed Steve Wexler to fill his shoes.
While Hulvey doesn’t officially take over at the RAB until April, Wexler will begin his role as interim CEO at Neuhoff in January, according to RadioInk.
“I am thrilled for Mike and am honored to serve as interim CEO for this legendary company and look forward to working with the talented, committed team at Neuhoff during this transition,” said Wexler.
Wexler comes to Neuhoff Media after 35 years in radio management. Most recently, Wexler served as the Market Manager and Vice President for Good Karma Brands in Milwaukee. After his resignation, Wexler remained in a leadership role with the company, working as a “leadership coach” inside the organization.
“We thank Mike for his many contributions during his more than 30 years as part of Neuhoff Media. Under his leadership, Mike has advanced the family mission of great local radio,” Neuhoff Media Trustees Julian Hickman and Makena Neuhoff said in a joint statement. “We wish Mike all the best in his new role at the RAB and are thrilled to welcome Steve Wexler as Interim CEO.”
Erica Farber Stepping Away as RAB CEO, Mike Hulvey Named Replacement
“She’s left an indelible imprint on the industry, and we can’t thank her enough for her commitment and passion to Radio.”
After a 12-year run as President and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), Erica Farber will depart the organization next year.
Farber will step aside on April 1st, 2024, and be replaced by current Neuhoff Media CEO Mike Hulvey. Despite her exit as President and CEO, Farber will remain involved in RAB’s Rising Through the Ranks leadership development training and the National Radio Talent System, according to RadioInk.
“We thank Erica for her leadership over the past decade in helping to shape an organization that meets the needs of broadcasters today as well as for the future of the audio industry,” said Connoisseur Media Founder and CEO and RAB Board Chair Jeff Warshaw. “She’s left an indelible imprint on the industry, and we can’t thank her enough for her commitment and passion to Radio. It’s been an honor and a privilege to work with her.”
Mike Hulvey joins the RAB as President and CEO with plenty of knowledge of the organization. Previously, he served as the Chair of the Board. He has also served as the President of the International Broadcasters Idea Bank and served on the NAB Board of Directors.
“I’m honored to take on this responsibility and lead the RAB. It’s a privilege to follow an amazing leader such as Erica Farber,” said Hulvey. “I look forward to celebrating her in the coming months while we begin working with our dedicated team and board of directors in support of the mission of the RAB.”
“Mike is an excellent selection with the relevant skills and expertise to lead the RAB. He has an impressive track record in corporate management and local radio expertise,” Warshaw added. “In addition, as a past chair of the RAB he has a clear understanding of the organization and what the broadcast industry requires from RAB. He has a tremendous passion for the industry which will serve us all well.”
Elon Musk: We’ll Tell The World ‘In Great Detail’ How Advertiser Boycott Killed X
“What this advertising boycott is gonna do, it’s gonna kill the company. And the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company. And we’ll document it in great detail.”
After a report that various advertisers saw ad placements next to anti-Semitic content on X, a large portion have pulled their advertising from the social media platform. X owner Elon Musk had a strong message for those boycotting the company.
While speaking with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, Musk was asked about those companies taking their advertising dollars away from the company and how he views them.
“I hope they stop. Don’t advertise,” Musk said.
“You don’t want them to advertise?,” the CNBC host asked.
“No,” replied Musk. “If somebody’s going to try to blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Go f— yourself,” Musk said confidently. “Go. F—. Yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is. Hey, Bob (Iger), if you’re in the audience. That’s how I feel. Don’t advertise.”
When Andrew Ross Sorkin followed up by asking about the economics and the business model of the company without the backing of advertisers, Musk was adamant it will cause the platform to fold.
“What this advertising boycott is gonna do, it’s gonna kill the company,” Musk said. “And the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company. And we’ll document it in great detail.”
When the CNBC anchor pushed back on the idea that advertisers would be responsible for the downfall of the company, the X owner said “Tell it to Earth. Let’s see how Earth responds to that.”
The advertising boycott comes as Musk faced charges of publishing anti-Semitic content himself. As part of a quasi-apology tour, he visited Israel and met with prominent leaders in the country. Some estimates put the boycott at costing the social media platform $75 million thus far. That comes on the heels of Elon Musk claiming the platform has experienced an advertising drop of 50% in 2023.