Heat Street, the “punky libertarian” website which was the brainchild of former Tory MP Louise Mensch, is being shut down after little more than a year.
Heat Street will close on August 4 and the operation will be moved under investor brand MarketWatch, according to a spokesman for Dow Jones, the arm of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire which housed the website.
In an emailed statement, he said: “The operation will be restructured under the MarketWatch umbrella, with the goal of strengthening cultural, entertainment and gaming coverage.
“The Heat Street brand and future content associated with the brand will be part of the MarketWatch group.”
BuzzFeed first reported the news about Heat Street’s demise. It said Fox News had explored acquiring Heat Street, but was deterred by Mensch’s crusade on US President Donald Trump’s alleged links to Russia. This was despite Mensch leaving Heat Street in December to focus on other digital media projects for News Corp.
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) June 29, 2017
It is not clear how many of Heat Street’s 15 staff will move over to MarketWatch. The website is run from New York, but has a presence in the London under UK editor Miles Goslett. Business Insider has contacted Goslett for comment.
Heat Street launched in April last year. In an interview with Business Insider in October 2016, Mensch said Heat Street was attempting to capture the “anti-establishment, or at least anti-stuffiness” roots of Murdoch’s media empire.
Goslett added: “We’re putting political correctness under the spotlight and trying to have a bit of fun with it. The strapline is: ‘No Safe Spaces.’ We make mischief and have some fun with it. We try to do that, and sometimes we cover things in a more serious way.”
At the time of the interview, Heat Street had around six million unique users a month around the world. Goslett said around 20% of this audience was generated by UK content.
Mensch said Murdoch monitored Heat Street’s progress carefully. “Mr. Murdoch took a very close interest from the beginning of project. After launch he came down to see the entire team,” she said.