SpinMedia Reportedly Up for Sale After Layoffs at Flagship Site
SpinMedia and its collection of music and pop culture websites is said to be up for sale after a stretch of financial losses, the New York Post reports. Formerly known as Buzz Media before adopting the moniker of its most visible title, the all-digital company is reportedly losing an estimated $5 million a year and has retained an investment bank to scout possible buyers.
Sources say that Spin, the company's flagship, underwent layoffs over the past week following the appointment of a new top editor.
SpinMedia's music roster includes venerable titles Spin and Vibe, as well as Stereogum, Idolator, Buzznet, PureVolume and Death and Taxes. The publisher also owns sites dedicated to pop culture, fashion and gossip, most notably Celebuzz, The Superficial, Go Fug Yourself and The Frisky.
The latest trouble for the company arrives more than two years after SpinMedia LLC was acquired by SpinMedia Group, owned by private equity fund MC Partners, as part of a legal process similar to a bankruptcy filing. Then-CEO Dale Strang said at the time that SpinMedia would focus on social and mobile initiatives while avoiding the kinds of staff shakeups that marked 2013 for the company.
Yet by late summer 2014, Strang was out and the company brought in current CEO Stephen Blackwell, founder of Death and Taxes. Shortly after, about 14 percent of SpinMedia's staff was let go as part of a transition completely away from print. "We're going to be 100% focused on digital," Blackwell told Billboard at the time. "I'm working very hard to make sure SpinMedia operates more like a second-stage startup than a monstrous organization."
A request for comment was not immediately returned.