Aborted by the Market

The end of the age of free money has finally brought about the always-inevitable demise of the wicked e-thots of Jezebel:

Jezebel, a feminist US news site, was shut down by its owners on Thursday, with 23 people laid off and no plans for the outlet to resume publication. G/O Media, which owns Jezebel and other sites including Gizmodo and the Onion, announced the closure in a memo to staff, which was obtained by the Guardian.

“Unfortunately, our business model and the audiences we serve across our network did not align with Jezebel’s,” Jim Spanfeller, the chief executive of G/O Media, wrote in the memo, which was sent to staff on Thursday morning. “And when that became clear, we undertook an expansive search for a new, perhaps better home that might ensure Jezebel a path forward. It became a personal mission of Lea Goldman, who worked tirelessly on the project, talking with over two dozen potential buyers. It is a testament to Jezebel’s heritage and bona fides that so many players engaged us. Still, despite every effort, we could not find Jez a new home.”

Translation: Jezebel was losing so much money on a monthly basis that not even its most ardent ideological admirers in the media believed they had a chance of making a go of it.

Remember this inability to find anyone to fund a well-known and supposedly influential operation when people are talking about success in Clown World. None of it is real, none of it is popular, and none of it is genuinely profitable. It’s all been propped up by free money. The business world covered by the media is a Potemkin one that is little more than a brightly-painted facade that conceals the fact that there is nothing substantial behind it.

Razorfist, as is his wont, empathized with the newly disemployed Jezebelles, and helpfully encouraged them to look at the situation in what they might see as positive light, which is to say, as being aborted from the marketplace.

Looks like you’ll have to propagandize the old-fashioned way: by inserting your insipid horseshit into a children’s movie, video game, or sitcom script while flagrantly denying you’re fucking doing it!

And here is an interesting statement by a member of the union: “A well-run company would have moved away from an advertising model, but instead they are shuttering the brand entirely because of their strategic and commercial ineptitude.”

Not that it was needed at this point, but the statement further confirms the wisdom of building platforms that religiously avoid reliance upon the advertising model and thereby being able to put the interests of the core subscribers first.