Jezebel is getting resurrected, under new management.
Three weeks ago, the former owner of the feminist news and opinion site, private-equity backed G/O Media, announced it was shuttering Jezebel — and laying off the staff — after failing to find a buyer. Now Paste Magazine, an Atlanta-based entertainment and culture publication, has snapped up Jezebel, which has been “known for its fearless, female-empowering content,” per the company’s announcement of the acquisition.
Terms of Jezebel’s sale are not being disclosed. Paste Magazine is acquiring the Jezebel brand and its archive of content. As yet, none of the employees who most recently worked at Jezebel are on board — but Josh Jackson, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Paste Magazine, said he’s been speaking with former Jezebel staffers about returning to the publication.
Jackson said the purchase of Jezebel marks a significant step for his company in broadening its reach. He said Paste is committed to “preserving Jezebel’s editorial independence” and maintaining its “distinctive voice.” He said after G/O Media shut down Jezebel, “We reached out to see if maybe we could be the ones to bring it back to life and to do it quickly.”
Jackson is planning to revive Jezebel with a “soft launch” this week with new content written by Paste’s writers, before he hires an editor-in-chief and other staff members for the site. “Our staff are all Jezebel fans,” he said.
“We are honored to bring Jezebel back to life and excited to welcome the site into the Paste Magazine family,” Jackson said. “The acquisition means that the critical information and content that Jezebel readers have come to rely on will live on… Jezebel’s unique voice and commitment to storytelling make it a perfect addition to our portfolio.”
In addition, under the deal with G/O Media, Paste acquired politics site Splinter — which had been shut down in 2019 — and plans to relaunch it next year ahead of the 2024 U.S. presidential election. Jackson said the deal with G/O Media, an all-cash deal, was closed Nov. 28.
Paste Magazine was first launched in 2002 as a music-focused print publication, which ceased in 2010 as the company pivoted to a digital-only model. The site covers music, movies, TV, gaming, and other culture and lifestyle topics. The mag’s parent company, Paste Media Group, is owned by Bill Sagan, CEO of Wolfgang’s, a purveyor of music memorabilia.
Jezebel, which had carried a tagline “Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth,” was originally launched in 2007 by Nick Denton’s Gawker Media. After Gawker Media was sued into bankruptcy by Hulk Hogan, Jezebel and the company’s other sites (with the exception of Gawker.com) were sold to Univision before they ended up changing hands again in a sale to G/O Media.
Separately, the Gawker brand was bought in a bankruptcy auction by Bustle Digital Media, which pulled the plug on a rebooted version of the snarky site earlier in 2023. BDG ended up selling Gawker to Meng Ru Kuok, CEO and founder of Caldecott Music Group, whose holdings include BandLab and NME.