NBCUniversal is pulling the plug on two websites — femme-focused DailyCandy and snark-fueled Television Without Pity — effective next Friday, April 4, after the media company evidently failed to find buyers for the properties.
The shutdowns, first reported by Re/code, affect 64 employees at DailyCandy and three at Television Without Pity.
In a tweet, Television Without Pity said, “TWOP will cease operations on April 4, but our forums will remain open till May 31. To our fans: Thank you for your support over the years.”
TWOP will cease operations on April 4, but our forums will remain open till May 31. To our fans: Thank you for your support over the years.—
(@TVWithoutPity) March 27, 2014
Via Twitter, DailyCandy also confirmed that it will go dark next week.
Good-byes are never easy. After 14 years of bringing you the best, we will close our doors on 4/4. Thanks for the memories. Xoxo—
DailyCandy (@dailycandy) March 27, 2014
In a statement, NBCU said: “DailyCandy and Television Without Pity were groundbreaking businesses when they launched more than a decade ago, and the teams there have done great work creating unique voices in the digital space. However, as NBCUniversal continues to evolve, the decision was made that DailyCandy and Television Without Pity are no longer viable businesses for our company.”
NBCU’s Bravo acquired Television Without Pity in 2007. The site was launched in 2002 by co-founders Tara Ariano and Sarah D. Bunting, who had started out in 1998 with a blog analyzing “Dawson’s Creek.” (They left the website in 2008.) TWOP provided recaps and reviews with an edge, sporting the tagline “spare the snark, spoil the networks.”
Comcast bought DailyCandy in 2008 for $125 million from investment firm Pilot Group. The idea at the time was that the fashion-and-lifestyle digital publication for women would mesh with Comcast’s cable networks like E!. Since then, Comcast acquired NBCU — with female-focused networks like Bravo and Oxygen — but the hoped-for synergies with DailyCandy never materialized.
In 2012, NBCU hired HBO digital vet Alison Moore as exec VP and general manager of DailyCandy. At HBO, Moore helped launch HBO Go, and prior to that headed product strategy for Cablevision’s Optimum Online broadband service. Moore will remain at NBCU in a yet-to-be-determined role, according to the company.
The closures of DailyCandy and TWOP come after NBCU last November announced it would shut down iVillage, the women-oriented website it acquired for $600 million in 2006, and combine its operations with Today.com.