With a post on Friday, the nearly six-year-old franchised culture blog Phillyist announced that parent company Gothamist is ending its operations this month. Or, as (volunteer) Editor Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey puts it, an “extended hiatus” will take over the site come Monday, Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.
Below, Ivey talks about the back story.
The Phillyist Editor writes Technically Philly:
Gothamist, as a business, has certain posting quotas for its sites. We realized over the fall that unless we could begin paying our writers, they wouldn’t be able to commit to the number of posts we were asking them to write. The five of us on the editorial staff were also unpaid, and all work full-time in addition to our Phillyist duties (and for two of us, grad school on top of that).As outside commitments got more demanding, we realized that even with five of us juggling the editorial duties, Phillyist needed a full-time editor who could devote him or herself fully to the site. We made this suggestion to Gothamist, but they felt that even though our traffic numbers were growing since we relaunched this fall, the Philly market was too small to warrant that position right now. Shutting Phillyist down—or more precisely, putting it on an extended hiatus until Gothamist could pay an editor—was our suggestion, and one that was received amicably by Gothamist. It was bittersweet for us, because the editorial staff has grown quite close over the past few years, and we like working together. So we decided, unilaterally, to move on to a new project, one that would be totally home-grown and that, for now at least, wouldn’t have posting quotas. Sometime in the next six weeks, we’ll be launching KeyPulp, an arts and lifestyle blog that will contain materia familiar to Phillyist readers, but won’t be limited to the Philadelphia market. More information will be posted to Phillyist this week, and people can follow both Phillyist and KeyPulp on updates about the launch.
Last month, another Philly wing to a New York-based blog closed, when real estate site Brownstoner Philly shut down.
Ivey says of other Gothamist closings:
Houstonist closed up shop over the summer, though we can’t confirm whether it was for the same reasons that we’re shutting down. Gothamist has, in the past, closed down sites that weren’t working for one reason or another, like Miamist, Parisist, and Sampaist (in Sao Paulo, Brazil). I don’t know of any plans to shut down any other sites any time soon.
We first spotted on NewsWorks that Phillyist was closing.