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Feminist website Jezebel is closed down after 16 years

Feminist website Jezebel has been closed down after 16 years, It was launched as a feminist counterpoint to traditional women’s magazines. US owner G/O Media’s CEO Jim Spanfeller said “our business model and the audiences we serve across our network did not align with Jezebel’s”. 

In a message to staff, shared on X, Spanfeller wrote that the company had tried to sell the publication to over two dozen potential buyers before deciding to “suspend” it.

Jezebel’s site, that is still up, says that it is “Edited for the smartest (and affluent, professional) woman in the room, Jezebel is a one-stop for savvy pop culture, fashion /beauty truths, progressive advice, female heroes, entertainment realities, cultural criticism, and a healthier dose of female aspiration.”

But after 16 years, the online feminist publication Jezebel was shut down by G/O media which also owns a number of outlets including Gizmodo and Quartz.

“While G/O Media is a lean, nimble organization, we are not immune to the economic headwinds rattling our business,” Spanfeller wrote to staff.

Jezebel was launched in 2007 under its first editor-in-chief, Anna Holmes, as part of Gawker Media.

According to the New York Times, feminist publications have been particularly affected by news industry financial turmoil. 

Jezebel is a girl’s name of Hebrew origin, meaning “pure” or “virginal.” In feminist ideology, Jezebel is a leader and a threat to patriarchal power. 

Jezebel has been saluted in films, books and songs.

In 1951, Frankie Laine recorded “Jezebel“, written by Wayne Shanklin, which became a hit song, The lyrics:

If ever the Devil was born without a pair of horns
It was you, Jezebel, it was you
If ever an angel fell
Jezebel, it was you, Jezebel, it was you!

 

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