Read at Boston.com
The Messenger, an ambitious online news site, abruptly shut down after only eight months in operation, leaving approximately 300 employees out of work. Founder Jimmy Finkelstein announced the shutdown in an email, stating that the company had been trying desperately to raise enough funds to become profitable. The collapse of The Messenger follows other large-scale layoffs in the media industry, indicating the challenging economic climate for media companies.
"We exhausted every option available," Finkelstein wrote, saying he was "personally devastated."
The Messenger aimed to become a media heavyweight by hiring experienced journalists, leasing expensive offices in multiple locations, and targeting a monthly audience of 100 million readers. However, it struggled to generate sufficient web traffic and profitability. Finkelstein acknowledged the tough economic conditions that many media companies are facing, which have led to the closure and layoffs of other prominent outlets.
Indeed, The Messenger's collapse follows large-scale layoffs by once-powerful and influential outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, which cut its newsroom staff by 20% last week, as well as Sports Illustrated and Business Insider.