In an internal memo sent Tuesday to staff, Paul Maidment, the editorial director of Splinter’s parent company G/O Media, praised the site’s journalism, but said the publication struggled to gain large numbers of readers.
“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 said.
“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.”
Maidment claimed there would be “no reduction of G/O Media’s editorial workforce as a result of this decision,” and Splinter’s headcount would be “reallocated” across other sites at G/O, the network of former Gizmodo Media Group sites including Deadspin, Jezebel, Gizmodo, and Jalopnik, among others. “Our goal, wherever possible, will be to retain current Splinter staff members in open positions at other G/O Media sites.”
Some Splinter staffers, however, said they’ve been laid off. Deputy editor Jack Mirkinson tweeted “Splinter is shutting down and we’re all being laid off,” and staff writer Sam Grasso wrote: “I’m getting laid off.”
Splinter was launched in 2017 after Univision acquired the most of the old Gawker Media assets following Gawker’s high-profile legal dispute with wrestler Hulk Hogan and conservative tech billionaire Peter Thiel.
Splinter largely focused on political and media news, often throwing elbows and offering a criticism of mainstream news organizations from the political left.