Maidment’s announcement stated that no layoffs or reduction in staff was anticipated as part of the closure. He wrote: “Our goal, wherever possible, will be to retain current Splinter staff members in open positions at other G/O Media sites.”
However, via Twitter, several former Splinter staffers said they have been laid off, including deputy editor Jack Mirkinson and staff writer Sam Grasso, reports The Daily Beast, which obtained a copy of the memo.
According to HuffPost, the staff’s union tweeted that seven people had lost their jobs, and the union was negotiating severance packages.
Maidment’s memo cited the outlet’s lack of high readership as the company’s reason for shuttering the site.
“Despite the hard work of everyone on that staff, which has produced much outstanding journalism and great scoops, establishing a steady and sustainable audience for a relatively young site proved challenging in a fiercely competitive sector,” Maidment stated.
“Given that reality, the leadership team made the difficult decision to cease operation of Splinter and redistribute the headcount to the other sites to increase the impact the editorial department can have overall.”
G/O Media acquired Splinter when it purchased the portfolio of Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion Inc. from Univision Communications Inc. last spring. Other sites acquired
included Gizmodo, Jezebel, Dea
A month after the acquisition, G/O Media laid off 25 staffers, accounting for 6% of the 400-person staff. Prior to those layoffs, G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller stated that he wasn’t expecting layoffs to follow the acquisition.
Spanfeller stated in an internal memo at the time that the cuts were “not about making the company smaller” and he anticipated the company expanding by year’s end.
Since then, staff has clashed with G/O Media management, which culminated in the recent exit of Deadspin EIC Megan Greenwell, who moved to Wired.com. She was the first female editor of the site and held the post for 18 months.