Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
The Marshall Project, an early model for single-subject nonprofit news sites, turns five today (and got a shoutout on Jeopardy last night)
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Oct. 11, 2019, 10:51 a.m.

Splinter is following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Gawker, in a not-great way: It’s being shut down.

The site’s private equity firm owner is Great Hill Partners, which acquired Gizmodo Media Group, including what was left of the Gawker family of sites, from Univision earlier this year, renaming it G/O Media Group. It cited Splinter’s struggle to gain an audience, per The Daily Beast’s Maxwell Tani.

While an internal memo had said that Splinter’s seven employees would be moved to jobs in other parts of the company, senior writer Hamilton Nolan told The New York Times that they were actually all laid off without warning. (It’s worth noting that Nolan was a prime mover behind the unionization of what was then Gawker Media four years ago, which really kicked off the wave of digital media unionization that we’ve seen since.)

Splinter shared a lot of editorial DNA with the original Gawker, but its origin story is a bit more complex. It originated as the prose-focused part of Fusion, the Univision/Disney cable-channel joint venture aimed at a younger and more diverse audience. In 2016, Univision purchased Gawker Media, which had been driven to bankruptcy by a Peter Thiel-funded lawsuit, but not the flagship site, Gawker itself. A year later, Fusion the cable channel was split from Fusion the news site, with the latter renamed Splinter and evoking the old Gawker editorially. (Meanwhile, Gawker now belongs to Bryan Goldberg, who owns everything. An attempt at relaunching it earlier this year was a flop. Splinter had plenty of fun with it: “Here Are the Media Chuds Joining Fake Gawker.”)

HuffPost’s Dave Jamieson got his hands on another email sent out by G/O editorial director Paul Maidment in which he instructed editors not to write about the end of Splinter: “I see no compelling reason for any of our sites to be writing about the decision to cease publishing Splinter. There is already external coverage, LeadPR will handle our external communications, and this is a time to be respectful of colleagues who have just received difficult news and for whom we will be trying to find new positions.”

Sorry, Paul, Twitter’s already covering it.

It appears that this Naomi LaChance piece will be Splinter’s last. Its final words: “Thanks, I hate it!!!!”

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
The Marshall Project, an early model for single-subject nonprofit news sites, turns five today (and got a shoutout on Jeopardy last night)
“As a former journalist, I was mindful of the power of honest storytelling. As an idealist, I felt that if only Americans knew the truth, changes would soon follow.”
News portals like Yahoo still bring Democrats and Republicans together for political news, but they’re fading fast
Plus: Hello “lifestyle misinformation,” hundreds of dead newspapers “revived” online to support Indian interests, and all of the fact-checking discussion you could possibly want.
Doing more with less: Seven practical tips for local newsrooms to strrrrretch their resources
Content doesn’t need to be perfect to be valuable; share resources within a city, not just a company; and other ideas.