Following Taibbi’s Departure, eBay Founder Shutters Planned Site


Following a month of turmoil and uncertainty, First Look Media announced Tuesday that it’s pulling the plug on a project that was originally going to be led by the journalist Matt Taibbi.

Taibbi left the startup late last month over well-reported acrimony with management, and his departure brought doubt to the future of his digital magazine, which was going to be called Racket.

Pierre Omidyar, the eBay founder who launched First Look last year, announced Taibbi’s decision to leave the organization in a blog post.

“Now we turn our focus to exploring next steps for the talented team that has worked to create Matt’s publication,” Omidyar wrote.

Nearly a month to the day after that was published, an un-bylined post on First Look’s blog provided Racket’s last rites:

Since Matt Taibbi’s departure, we’ve been working with the team he hired to consider various options for launching a project without him. After multiple explorations, we’ve decided not to pursue the project. Unfortunately, this means that the team Matt hired will be let go.
Though their tenure was brief, we appreciate the passion and energy each member of the team brought to the workplace, not to mention their hard work on behalf of Matt’s original project. We wish them all the best.

The announcement will place some of New York’s most popular Internet writers back on the employment market. In April, Alex Pareene bolted Salon to help lead Taibbi’s project. Edith Zimmerman, founder of the popular women’s interest website The Hairpin, joined Pareene and Taibbi in August.

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