Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Media Mess: Website Jezebel Shuttered, 23 People Laid Off at Company, Join Conde Nast, Other Dismissals


It’s no fun writing these stories.

Jezebel, once a big deal website for women, is being shut today by G/O Media. Jezebel is part of the company that housed Gawker long ago. (A revived Gawker closed a while ago.) G/O still has some other sites, but they are all suffering. No knows how to monetize these sites. My sympathies are extended to them.

A big part of the problem, the biggest maybe, is Google. Google rules the internet. They capriciously change the algorithm that brings readers to sites. There is no one to talk to at the company. It’s a machine. It’s the antithesis of publishing. Or humanity. I have a constant headache dealing with Google for this site. I can’t imagine having a dozen employees depending on me. It’s impossible.

Google controls web traffic and they also control advertising via Google Adsense. There is constant discussion on Twitter X about SEO– Search Engine Optimization — and how to overcome constant censoring by Google, or getting around the latest algorithm changes. No one really knows anything. The ‘experts’ are always trying to make logic out of a Kafka like scheme.

So I am sorry about Jezebel, which had lots of good writers and articles. It’s a dismal situation. Conde Nast just had a bunch of layoffs, and more are happening throughout what is left of online publishing. Amazon just alid off a bunch of people in Amazon Music, communications and editorial staff. And they’re Amazon! Most of the blogs you read have very few readers other than a small, targeted audience. How they survive is a mystery. It’s not a game for the faint of heart.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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