DailyCandy and Television Without Pity, two high-profile Internet content properties owned by NBCUniversal, are being shuttered, a move that management told staff this morning would be occurring next week.
Local recommendations site DailyCandy had been purchased by the Comcast media unit in 2008 for $125 million from the New York-based Pilot Group. The sassy TWoP TV review and recap site — its motto is “Spare the snark, spoil the networks” — was purchased by NBCU’s Bravo cable unit in 2007. Both were founded in the Web 1.0 era.
Attempts to sell the properties were made, but apparently were unsuccessful.
The closing impacts 64 employees at the women-focused DailyCandy and three at TWoP. Apparently, many of those staffers — largely located in New York — might be offered jobs at other NBCU properties, but that is not a certainty.
The reason for the closing down was pretty basic: Despite creating laudable sites, there was still not enough traffic and, therefore, a difficulty monetizing the properties, especially in the wake of increased competition since the pair were first founded.
NBCU had tried to turbocharge DailyCandy — the longtime online newsletter and website focused on fashion, food and lifestyle — by hiring well-regarded digital exec Alison Moore in late 2012. She had previously been at HBO working on its various digital initiatives there.
Moore’s focus had been to increase efforts on a range of platforms, and expand its user base of six million, especially its video offerings, as well as attempting various multiplatform programming partnerships with NBCU’s many television and digital assets, such as the Style Network.
Moore will remain at NBCU in a job that is undetermined as yet.
So what happens to the huge amount of content in the archives of both DailyCandy and TWoP? It will all be saved in the digital ether, but not be available to the public. One small caveat that should please no one regardless: TWoP’s popular user forums will be kept open until May 31.
The big lesson here? Beware! While there may be a perceived boom in content online recently and interest in investing in it, not all of the players get to survive.
And, in that spirit, full disclosure here: NBCU is an investor in Revere Digital, which publishes Re/code.