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Pitchfork folded into GQ as Condé Nast makes layoffs at long-running music publication

The website, which brands itself as ‘the most trusted voice in music’, was bought by Condé Nast in 2015

Kevin E G Perry
Los Angeles
Wednesday 17 January 2024 22:49 GMT
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(Pitchfork)

Conde Nast is folding music website Pitchfork, which it bought in 2015, into men’s magazine GQ.

The move will result in widespread layoffs at the publication, which brands itself “the most trusted voice in music”, including the departure of editor-in-chief Puja Patel.

Anna Wintour, Condé Nast’s chief content officer, announced the changes in a memo to company staff that was widely circulated on social media on Wednesday 17 January.

“Today we are evolving our Pitchfork team structure by bringing the team into the GQ organization,” wrote Wintour. “This decision was made after a careful evaluation of Pitchfork’s performance and what we believe is the best path forward for the brand so that our coverage of music can continue to thrive within the company.”

Wintour continued: “Both Pitchfork and GQ have unique and valuable ways that they approach music journalism, and we are excited for the new possibilities together. With these organizational changes, some of our Pitchfork colleagues will be leaving the company today.”

In reference to the departure of Patel, Wintour wrote: “I want to thank Puja for her leadership of the title over the last five years. She has been a wonderful colleague and advocate for the brand, and I’m grateful for her and the team’s many contributions.”

St Vincent performing at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago in 2014 (Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

As for the wider layoffs, Wintour added: “Members of the Pitchfork team will hear more about their reporting structure in meetings this week. There are no additional changes at this time as we focus on our internal team structure and operations. We will of course keep this team updated first when any new decisions are made about the transition.”

The news was met with widespread dismay on social media. Writer Kim Kelly tweeted: “This Pitchfork news is so awful. I’ve been writing there on and off since 2021, and even had a metal column there; it made a huge impact on my career as a music journalist. forever grateful to @brandonstosuy for letting me get in on the fun while it lasted”.

Pitchfork was founded as an independent online publication in 1996 by Ryan Schreiber. On X/Twitter, Schreiber responded to the news by writing: “Extremely saddened by the news that Condé Nast has chosen to restructure Pitchfork and lay off so much of its staff, including some who’ve been integral to its operations for many years/decades.

“Sending love to everyone affected and hoping for the best for its future.”

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