On Tuesday of last week Artnet published news of major layoffs at ArtInfo including unconfirmed reports of suspending the development of their new auction database. Given that online databases such as this make the majority their money through search charges (as opposed to their news services, which often barely pay for themselves), it is unclear why Artnet was not suspicious of the rumor. The fact is, one only need send an email to ArtInfo production to find out that while the launch date for the service has been pushed back, the companies plans for an auction database were moving ahead. This, I am quite sure is a relief to those with LTB media stock.
Update: Since posting this piece I have received about 100 emails containing insider reports on ArtInfo all of which are conflicting in nature. I have since edited the post because it is clear that contrary to what was suggested here, Artnet did place a call to investigate the matter. How they made sense of the information, I can not claim to know.
*A side note: I have to reiterate the statements of many and say that Artinfo’s column on “Fresh Talent“ has bad press written all over it. Does anyone on their staff follow art news because the recent reports of institutional efforts to keep galleries out of graduate school exhibitions outline a very legitimate concern that it can hinder the development of the artist. The launch of this column reads as exploitative far more than a move to support new artistic endeavors.