The company said the decision to shutter the millennial targeted, video news site was “extremely difficult.”
“The digital space continues to change rapidly, and even larger outlets have faced significant challenges. As a smaller publisher, the environment is even more onerous, and while we see new business and storytelling opportunities with digital video and OTT, they do not require the daily publishing of a website,” Sinclair said in a statement obtained by The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, which he posted on Twitter.
A spokesperson told Wemple that Sinclair, one of the biggest local TV station owners, let go of 16 employees, but will retain 22 people.
Some will move to the Sinclair National Desk in Arlington, Virginia, where they “will leverage viral, live and unique video content packaging, which we developed at Circa, to feed all of Sinclair’s websites,” according to Wemple.
SimilarWeb data shows monthly visits to Circa.com were below 1.5 million.
The company focused on video content and general-interest trending news stories, a difficult category for a sustainable business model, since such content can be found and shared on larger social-media platforms.
Circa began as a news app that broke down the news for a young audience. It shut down in 2015, then was purchased and relaunched by Sinclair that same year.