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Jezebel, which is marketed to women and espouses unapologetic Left-wing views, especially regarding abortion, has reportedly been up for sale for months but was unable to find a buyer. Washington Post reporter Will Sommer shared screenshots of a memo sent by CEO Jim Spanfeller announcing the decision.
“As of this week we are making the very, very difficult decision to suspend the publication of Jezebel. Few decisions over the course of my career have been as excruciating, and I want to make clear this is in NO WAY a reflection of the Jezebel editorial team,” he began. “They have had many successes over the past year or so and continue to do great work in difficult times.”
Spanfeller called out the outlet’s coverage of “reproductive rights in this post-Roe era” specifically and claimed the website had “changed women’s media forever.”
“Unfortunately, our business model and the audiences we serve across our network did not align with Jezebel’s,” the media exec continued in the memo. “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 bonafides that so many players engaged us. Still, despite every effort, we could not find Jez a new home.”
“Media is nothing if not resilient. So are its practitioners,” the memo said. “I will keep you apprised if circumstances change.”
Jezebel was created by writer Anna Holmes in 2007 and operated under the Gawker umbrella until it was sold to Univision in 2016. The news site became part of the G/O Media portfolio in 2019.
Other G/O media holdings include Gizmodo, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Deadspin, The Root, The A.V. Club, The Takeout, The Onion, The Inventory, and Quartz.
Sommer noted that his sources said the layoff was immediate on Wednesday, with all staffers losing access to their email and Slack. G/O laid off 23 employees in total, including the entirety of the Jezebel staff.