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Cannabis Co. SKUNK Media Board Responds To Power Struggle Repots, Ousting CEO As It Aims To Rebuild

by Javier Hasse, Benzinga Editor

June 1, 2023 5:08 PM | 2 min read

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The board of directors at SKUNK Media Group, a prominent name in the cannabis media industry, has ousted former CEO Julie Chiariello, aiming to "restore" the beleaguered company's financial stability, reputation and shareholder trust. This course of action came in response to a thorough assessment of the company’s finances, along with several interviews with anxious investors and employees affected by unpaid wages, the board said.

The CEO Ousting

The decision to unseat Chiariello was not made lightly. The board, appointed by Chiariello herself, argued it attempted to address the arising issues internally and stabilize the company in privacy. However, recent public occurrences accelerated the need for drastic action. "Had we not intervened, SKUNK would have faced insurmountable challenges by summer," shared one member of the board, expressing the urgency that underlined the decision. A prior Benzinga report said shareholders had removed multiple members of the board of directors from their positions. The company's decision, sources assured, was prompted by concerns that the ousted board members were jeopardizing the firm's culture, reputation and financial obligations to various entities.

The new board of directors, established in March 2023, was accused of exhibiting radical behavior that threatened the company's stability. The team had stopped payroll and ordered the organization's president and editor-in-chief to halt revenue generation until an unspecified date, as they planned a company-wide reorganization, members of the former management team assured. According to several board members, SKUNK Media Group, once an esteemed cannabis publication, experienced a gradual decline during Chiariello's tenure. The alarming figures were evident, they assured: negative bank accounts, shrinking Newsstand sales, fewer than 300 subscribers and a growing roster of discontented partners and contributors.

"The newly-appointed board members have received an outpouring of support from partners regarding the company's transition and its renewed direction. This support serves as a testament to the board's determination to revitalize SKUNK Media Group and reaffirms its mission to be a leading cannabis media source dedicated to the people. Throughout this difficult and unnecessary ordeal, the board members remain optimistic that SKUNK Media Group will emerge stronger, leaving behind a positive legacy for shareholders, partners, and consumers alike," a press release concluded.


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