Curbed Philly, a real estate, development, and urban design blog acquired by Vox Media in 2013, is shutting down — an announcement most people saw in tweets from various site editors Monday.
“Curbed is sharpening its focus to deliver content where our audiences are most engaged and on the topics they are craving — real estate, shopping, and design,” a Curbed spokesperson wrote in an email in response to inquiries about the closing. “We’ll be expanding Austin and Boston into full-time sites, while sunsetting our city sites in Washington D.C., Seattle, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, later this year.”
Anna Merriman, 28, who formerly worked as an editor at Curbed Philly, said she would like to see a note to readers from Curbed to explain why the site is closing down. “Transparency is important,” said Merriman, who last worked for the publication at the end of October.
“We have a really wonderful base of readers who are really enthusiastic and engaged,” said Merriman, who is now living in Hanover, N.H., and is a reporter for the Valley News. "And I think they are owed that.”
Curbed Network expanded to now include Eater and Racked, and has local blogs in cities across the country, including Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. It appears just the Philadelphia, New Orleans, D.C., and Seattle local offshoots were being shut down Monday, according to a tweet from Missy Wilkinson, an editor of Curbed New Orleans. Vox shut down Racked in 2018; Eater still has a branch in Philadelphia.
When Vox Media agreed this year to acquire New York Media in a reported $20 million to $30 million deal, Vox’s chief executive and chairman Jim Bankoff told the New York Times the merger would not result in layoffs. He also said it would not result in its publications, including the Verge, Eater, Curbed, Vox and SB Nation, shuttering. New York Media is the company that owned New York Magazine, the Cut, Grub Street, Intelligencer, the Strategist, and Vulture.
“Nothing changes editorially for any of our brands,” Bankoff told the Times.
Curbed Philly, New Orleans, D.C., and Seattle would be the first to fold since this merger. A Vox spokesperson told the Wrap that these closings are not related to the acquisition.
Curbed Philly will have evergreen stories through the end of 2019, a Vox spokesperson told Billy Penn.
“Curbed is prioritizing investment in other cities where we’ve seen strong growth, including Austin and Boston, experimenting in new areas, and focusing on national reports coverage,” the spokesperson told Billy Penn in an email.