New media startup The Messenger recently purchased and summarily shut down the news site Grid News.
- International Media Investments (IMI) and technology executive Brian Edelman launched Grid News in January 2022 with more than $10 million in funding.
- Last week, media startup The Messenger announced its acquisition of Grid News, later reporting that the website would be shut down early this week.
- The Messenger plans to keep some of Grid News’ products, such as its weekly newsletter, but other products will not be included on the new website expected to launch this spring.
Why it’s news
Grid News has officially been bought out and shut down by media startup The Messenger leaving around 50 employees hoping for a new job with the acquisition.
Grid News was a D.C.-based digital news startup launched in early 2022 with more than $1 million in funding from Abu Dhabi-based investment firm IMI and executive Brian Edelman.
Despite the large amount of funding in November 2022, it was reported that Grid News was losing money, but executives assured employees that it had raised enough money to continue operating for the foreseeable future.
Last week, it was announced that The Messenger was acquiring Grid and informed the company’s 50 employees that the website would be closing within a week. The Messenger is currently interviewing employees with hopes of giving most of them a role within the new company.
Through the acquisition, The Messenger was given access to Grid’s back catalog and plans to keep some of its products, including its newsletter, but is scrapping other products, including the company’s branding. Grid had a podcast titled “Bad Takes,” where employees discussed the “worst takes” on important and complex topics, but it has not been said if the podcast will find a new home at The Messenger.
Grid News was partially owned by IMI and Brian Edelman, and as part of the acquisition, it was decided that the two owners would make a minority investment in The Messenger‘s parent company to help boost its launch.
Along with Grid’s investments, The Messenger received $50 million from Jimmy Finkelstein, a longtime media investor, and entrepreneur who formerly owned The Hill, making him the company’s primary owner.
Finkelstein plans to launch the website this spring and hire hundreds of journalists to cover topics such as entertainment, news, and sports while looking for other news platforms to possibly take over.