Read at TechCrunch
Media startup The Messenger, which aimed to build an 'unbiased' digital newsroom, is shutting down after just nine months. Employees were informed of the closure through a New York Times article and will not receive severance or healthcare coverage. The publication had lost $38 million of its startup capital and only generated $3 million in revenue late last year. The Messenger had been attempting to raise more capital but was unsuccessful. This closure highlights the challenges faced by the journalism industry, particularly declining digital ad sales.
'The last thing I saw in The Messenger's slack was a panicked colleague writing 'wait, what about our insurance coverage, I have a surgery boo-' and then we all got booted out!!!' said journalist Jordan Hoffman in a post on X.
Founded by Jimmy Finkelstein, The Messenger was unable to meet its revenue projections and failed to secure additional funding before its closure. The startup had received $50 million in funding but had lost $38 million by late last year. The closure of The Messenger is seen as an egregious example of the challenges faced by the journalism industry, with thousands of journalists being laid off in the past year. It also raises questions about the management and financial decisions made by the publication.
This is lower than low. To go on a hiring spree, wildly mismanage millions of dollars and then leave hundreds of people with no way to support themselves after working them to the bone