The Messenger to shut down after less than a year in business

Founder and CEO Jimmy Finkelstein explained that he had made the "painfully hard decision to shut down The Messenger, effective immediately."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

On Wednesday, it was revealed that online news startup The Messenger would be shutting down after less than a year in business.

Hundreds of journalists employed by the site, which billed itself as "a new kind of news," have now been forced to look elsewhere for employment.

In a memo to staff obtained by Semafor's Max Tani, founder and CEO Jimmy Finkelstein explained that he had made the "painfully hard decision to shut down The Messenger, effective immediately."

"Over the past few weeks," he wrote, "literally until earlier today, we exhausted every option available and have endeavored to raise sufficient capital to reach profitability. Unfortunately, we have been unable to do so, which is why we haven't shared the news with you until now."

"The Messenger started with an incredibly important mission - to deliver balanced and accurate journalism at a time when Americans' trust in media is at a record low - and I am proud of what we achieved … Under the right circumstances, I know we could have made a significant difference in today's fragmented media landscape and country."

"The economic headwinds have left many media companies fighting for survival," he added. "Unfortunately, as a new company, we encountered even more significant challenges than others and could not survive those headwinds."

Finkelstein said shutting down was "truly the last thing I wanted," adding that he was "deeply sorry."

The Messenger employee James LaPorta explained in a post on X that he and his colleagues first learned of the company's fate via reporting from the New York Times and Semafor.

"There is no severance. Healthcare will cease. I have to go clean out my desk from the DC office," he added.

This is a breaking story. Refresh the page for updates.

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