Lenny Letter’s website is shutting down. The site, an outgrowth of a newsletter first run in partnership with Hearst, then Condé Nast, told contributors it will shut down Friday. Staffers were informed of the closure last week, according to an email reviewed by Digiday.
Lenny Letter and Condé Nast, which handles ad sales for the site, haven’t responded to a request for comment. The story will be updated if they do.
Lenny Letter started as a newsletter in 2015. Launched by Lena Dunham and her production partner Jenni Konner, Lenny was supposed to be a place where “an army of like-minded intellectually curious women and the people who love them” could write about everything from feminist issues to tube tops. It named Benjamin Cooley, an entertainment vet, as its CEO, and partnered with Hearst for ad sales.
The newsletter grew to over 500,000 subscribers, helped in part by contributions from stars from Jennifer Lawrence to Janet Mock. It then branched out to a website, podcasting and, briefly, video. A separate book publishing arm, Lenny, has published several titles since its launch, most recently a novel called “Providence.”
The site also had a spate of controversy in the spring of 2017, when the writer Zinzi Clemmons wrote an open letter about her decision to stop working with Dunham, accusing her of racism.
The site stopped producing videos about a year ago, but its podcast hosted by Dunham,“Women of the Hour,” won a Webby in 2017. A more recent foray into storytelling podcasting, “Lenny Says,” was soliciting pitches for its second season as recently as last week. It is not clear if those shows will continue.
The site never managed to build any momentum on new platforms. Its Twitter following has been declining over the past 12 months, according to Crowdtangle data, sliding below 50,000 followers earlier this year. Its Facebook page never managed to climb above 100,000 likes. In 2017, Hearst and Lenny were unable to reach an agreement to renew their partnership, according to The Business of Fashion. It signed a deal with Condé Nast in October.
New app launches through Apple hoping to win with ‘zero-party data’ when others haven’t
Caden's new app lets users connect data from their Uber, Amazon, Netflix and other accounts in exchange for money. Will it take off?
‘The next level for us’: The New York Times eyes longer play sessions for games in subscription drive
The games division is focusing on finding new ways to mine the inherent competitive nature of games like encouraging people to play multiple games in a single session or through new achievements and rewards for progression.
In graphic detail: Publishers’ full year 2022 earnings
Looking back at 2022, the hits to publishers' revenue were partially staunched, but by the end of the year nearly all areas of the business felt the impact of the economic downturn.
SponsoredIn a cookieless world, publishers are embracing new approaches to personalized UX
Asaf Shamly, CEO and co-founder, Browsi With user experience at the forefront of many publishers’ minds, the eventual deprecation of third-party cookies is bound to wreak havoc for those who haven’t quite figured out how to adjust their ad model to the coming change. The problem is well defined at this point: They can’t afford, […]
‘It has to be built in’: How agencies strive to advance their diversity goals
There often is no blueprint for diversity in the corporate world, and many initiatives at media agencies have been works in progress over the last few years.
Publishers tout generative AI opportunities to save and make money amid rough media market
Generative AI technology will be an area of focus for some media companies this year as they work to cut costs and find new revenue opportunities amid a tough media market.