After a little more than 13 years, media mogul Barry Diller’s web holding company is bailing out of the comedy web site, College Humor.
IAC has “sold” the brand to Sam Reich, CollegeHumor’s CEO, although Reich didn’t put the “sale” in terms of an attention-getting deal, admitting on Twitter “IAC, our parent company, has made the difficult decision to no longer finance us. “
More than 100 employees of College Humor lost their jobs as a result of IAC walking away from the digital comedy business.
IAC owns YouTube competitor Vimeo, and food delivery service Dotdash. And 10 of its companies went public and it has majority ownership of Match Group, which includes Tinder, Match, PlentyOfFish, OkCupid and Hinge, and ANGI Homeservices, which includes HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List and Handy.
The old adage of “Life is easy, comedy is hard,” has never been truer than in the digital space. Two years ago, College Humor rival, “Funny or Die," which was co-founded by Oscar-nominated director Adam McKay and former “Saturday Night Live” star Will Ferrell, went through a round of layoffs that was the second since 2016. That was the year — not so coincidentally — when Facebook and YouTube adjusted their algorithms and siphoned page views away from destination sites like Funny or Die and College Humor.
Funny or Die’s investors include AMC Networks and Sequoia Capital.
Last April, Univision Communications reached a deal to sell The Onion — part of the Gizmodo Media Group — to private-equity firm Great Hill Partners for an undisclosed amount. However, Variety reported that Great Hill paid much less than the $135 million Univision paid in August of 2016 for The Onion and other assets from Gawker in a bankruptcy auction,
As for College Humor, its new leader Reich made an appeal on Twitter to keep hope alive: “I need your support now more than ever. The #1 way you can support me is to stay subscribed."