December 11, 2023

Feminist publication Jezebel is shutting down after 16 years, its parent company G/O Media announced in a memo to employees Thursday. The media group said it is also laying off 23 employees, including the staff of Jezebel, across its digital platforms.

“As of this week we are making the very, very difficult decision to suspend publication of Jezebel,” G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller said in the memo obtained by CBS News. “Unfortunately, our business model and the audiences we serve across our network did not align with Jezebel’s.”

Spanfeller said the decision to shut down Jezebel came after G/O could not find a buyer for the website. He said that, despite interest from over 24 potential buyers, “we could not find Jez a new home.”

“I haven’t given up on Jezebel. Media is nothing if not resilient. So are its practitioners. I will keep you apprised if circumstances change,” Spanfeller wrote.

The publication, launched in 2007 by Gawker Media, was known for reporting and commentary on hot-button cultural issues affecting women, covering topics ranging from politics, entertainment, beauty and fashion, women’s health, women in the public eye and more. The site and all other former Gawker Media publications — including Gizmodo, Deadspin, The Root and A/V Club — except for Gawker, were acquired by Univision in 2016 following Gawker Media declaring bankruptcy in the wake of the Hulk Hogan sex tape lawsuit. 

G/O Media was then formed in 2019 after Univision sold the former Gawker Media sites to Great Hill Partners. 

In the memo announcing the shuttering of Jezebel, G/O Media also introduced new plans for restructuring its editorial strategy for its remaining publications. Spanfeller said, despite the cuts, he hopes the changes to the editorial process in the company’s various newsrooms will result in growth in the months ahead.

In addition to outlining plans for restructuring, the memo announced the departure of the company’s editorial director, Merrill Brown.

Jezebel is the latest publication focused on feminist and gender identity-related topics to shut down. Last year, Bitch Magazine shuttered and the Washington Post’s The Lily was discontinued and its staffers were reassigned to other departments within the paper’s newsroom.

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