Employees at Insider, the 13-year-old site formerly known as Business Insider, announced on Monday their intention to unionize with the NewsGuild.
Insider was one of the few remaining digital-native media outlets that had yet to see a unionization effort springing from the movement that started with Gawker in 2015 and spread to HuffPost, Vox Media, Bustle Digital Group and others.
Insider’s union represents more than 300 employees across editorial, including reporters, editors, producers and designers.
“In my view, unionizing the newsroom is the ultimate sign of our respect for Insider,” Insider Senior Reporter Dominick Reuter, who was on the organizing committee, said in a statement. “It shows that we believe in the mission of this company, and that we want to be a part of its long-term success. Negotiating a contract with us will show that our respect is reciprocated.”
Insider CEO Henry Blodget — a former analyst who was charged with civil securities fraud in 2003 and barred from the securities industry — cofounded the media outlet in 2007 as Silicon Alley Insider. The site initially focused on covering the New York business community. Blodget later changed the name to Business Insider to reflect broader coverage.
In 2015, German media giant Axel Springer acquired the company for $343 million. A year later, the company launched a lifestyle site, Insider. In February this year, the entire site was rebranded to Insider. It has been focused on growing its subscription business rather than relying on ad dollars.
Unlike many other media companies, Insider did not report layoffs or other drastic cost-cutting measures during the pandemic. Insider generated 30% revenue growth in 2020 and hired 200 employees, the Wall Street Journal reported. It also bought a controlling stake in Morning Brew, a newsletter-focused media company.
Insider staffers said they are unionizing to hold management accountable for demographic and salary gaps, hiring BIPOC and LGBTQ+ employees and paying them equitably as well as providing more support to parents and caregivers.
“I continue to be inspired by the ongoing commitment of media workers to address the deep challenges of our industry in their workplaces,” NewsGuild of New York President Susan DeCarava said in a statement. “As the editorial workers at Insider declared this morning, they organized with the NYGuild to strengthen their newsroom and create an inclusive, safe, and collaborative professional workplace.”
Insider spokesperson Mario Ruiz told CNN Business, “The satisfaction, job security, and happiness of our journalists is extremely important to us. We will fully respect whatever decision our newsroom ultimately makes.”
In an April 8 staff email, Blodget said Insider would not recognize the union prior to a formal vote.
“This is a very important decision, and we believe you should each have the time and space to consider it carefully and openly with full information before you decide,” Blodget wrote in the email, which was obtained by CNN Business.
“Our employee happiness, satisfaction, and sense of job security is extremely important to us,” Blodget continued. “We want you all to love working here and be proud to work here.”