At the end of June we had one of our irregular visits from management in Germany, but whereas previous visits have been brief and vague, this one was brief with a specific purpose: to deliver the news that The H would in all likelihood be shut down.
A week later it was confirmed and, after the formality of the two-week “consultancy” period, we were given one month’s notice. And, just over a week ago, we announced the closure on the site.
I can’t say that I’m surprised this has happened, in some ways I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner. The advertising model simply can’t finance three or more people in an office and, as far as I can tell, other options weren’t considered.
It wasn’t our decision to close the site, in fact, we had no say in the matter and, given the option, we would have happily continued and even brought on more writers to expand the coverage, but, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how well the team producing the content performs — and we did a damn good job of putting out straight news and interesting features — if there isn’t a viable commercial foundation, it just can’t survive.
So, I’m technically employed until the end of the month, but apart from clearing a few bits and pieces from the office, there’s really been nothing to do. No more news items to proofread. No more articles to wrestle into the CMS. No more translations to turn into fluent English. No more graphics to create.
The H is no more.