The Messenger Is Sinking

Max Tani, Semafor:

The board of the startup news organization The Messenger weighed shutting the publication down at a meeting on Friday, after learning that the company is on track to run out of cash at the end of January.

The New York Times earlier reported Wednesday that The Messenger, launched last May as a politically centrist, wide-ranging bid for big web traffic and advertising dollars, is laying off nearly two dozen staffers out of a total of around 300.

Looks like I can delete the reminder I set myself for November to check if this thing is still up. I feel bad for the reporters and employees who thought they would be joining a well-funded publication, only to find a boss whose big idea was for it to become one of the the most popular news websites in the U.S. within a year by using ancient growth tactics and who would pay for everything with crappy display ads and chum boxes.

Update: As of January 3, a Messenger spokesperson told Tani “the notion of us discussing closure is beyond absurd” since they had, they said, just raised more money. As of January 31, the Messenger has been shut down.