After 16 years, the online-only publication Artnet Magazine will close today, reports Art in America. Sites in Germany, France and the United States will all cease publication and their three full-time editorial staff members, Walter Robinson, Rachel Corbett, and Emily Nathan, will leave the company. Robinson indicated in a note sent to Art Fag City that all of artnet’s editorial staff are seeking work.
The news comes on the same day that CEO Hans Neuendorf resigned from his position. His son, Jacob Pabst, will take over the company.
Artnet’s financial woes have not been a secret, reports ArtInfo’s Shane Ferro: since the German corporation is publicly-traded, its records have already been subject to some examination. In an analysis produced by Skate’s Art Market Research, the company remarked upon the magnitude of the company’s problems, writing, “The loss of EUR 471,000 on revenues of EUR 50,000 for the first six months of the year is truly depressing, and the fact that revenues are declining at a slower rate than the losses are increasing would console only a masochist.”
According to a press release sent out earlier today, Artnet’s archives will be preserved. That’s important, because the magazine published a lot of clear, direct writing over the years. They were an early model for online journalism and blogging and managed large personalities with mixed success. Charlie Finch, Thomas Hoving, and Tony Fitzpatrick continually made waves in the blogosphere, for better and for worse. ArtInfo’s Editor-in-Chief Ben Davis worked with Robinson for five years before making his move in 2010. Robinson often gave young, untested writers a chance and even attempted to work with the once-famed Blogspot blogger, “Edna V. Harris”, who penned Anonymous Female Artist. That was in 2006 and it didn’t work out—the internal politics were made public on her blog, that’s now visible only by invite— but at the time she was famous for consistently sparking enormous comment threads.
Robinson had a contentious relationship with email, the details of which don’t always sit well with us. Still, Artnet Magazine consistently produced strong news and reviews and for that they will be greatly missed.