Tech News Site Protocol Goes Bust, Lays off Staff As Tech Industry Faces Tough Economic Conditions

Technology news website Protocol is shutting down and laying off its staff, after failing to secure adequate advertising levels amid a broader tech sector slump.

Protocol, which was first created by former Politico owner Robert Allbritton in 2020, is expected to cease operations by the end of the week and let go at least 60 employees. According to CNN, which cited people familiar with the matter, the company’s staff were informed via a meeting on Tuesday that all newsletters will no longer be published effective the following day, aside from its flagship newsletter, Source Code. The employees will remain on the payroll until December 16, after which they are eligible for eight weeks of severance pay.

Allbritton created Protocol, which is part of Politico Media Group, under the assumption that Politico’s success in covering the tech space could be replicated by primarily focusing a news outlet on the industry itself. “I would love for this to be as big as, if not larger than, Politico is right now,” he was quoted as saying by the Vanity Fair back in 2019. However, Protocol wasn’t able to gain the necessary traction, particularly amidst the media turmoil brought on by the pandemic. The situation took a turn for the worse in the last 12 months as the tech sector faced difficult economic conditions brought on by surging inflation and rising interest rates, ultimately reducing the news site’s advertising sales revenue.

“The reality is that the ad market tightened, particularly in the tech space, which exacerbated some existing challenges that are typical of a new startup,” one person was quoted as saying. Protocol is forecast to fall substantially short of its 2022 revenue projections, with next year’s outlook failing to ease financial worries thanks to the deteriorating economy and weakening tech sector. After taking current and future economic projections into consideration, Protocol’s executives decided it’s best to cease the news site’s operations and instead boost tech coverage at Politico.

Information for this briefing was found via CNN. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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