The Daily Dot, an online news startup launched in August that bills itself as “the hometown newspaper of the World Wide Web,” is no longer being edited by Owen Thomas, the publication confirmed in a blog post Wednesday.
“It is a bittersweet parting,” writes Dot CEO Nicholas White. “Bitter, because he is leaving us. Sweet, because Owen has some awesome opportunities in front of him.”
Thomas, the former executive editor of VentureBeat and managing editor of the now-defunct Valleywag, was dismissed as the publication struggles to gain traffic, advertisers and funding, one source tells us.
A second source tell us traffic is relatively healthy — growing a steady eight to 12% month-over-month, and hitting 350,000 uniques in February. But both sources claim that morale has been low over the past few months.
The Daily Dot has made good on its original mission to cover the biggest online communities — namely, Reddit, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest — in the style of a hometown newspaper. The publication does an exceptional job of unearthing stories within those communities.
But the potential value to advertisers is unclear. When questioned around the time of The Daily Dot‘s launch, White said this: “We think we can put together a special audience … influencers with enormous followings.”
Disclosure: The Daily Dot is a Mashable Publishing Partner.
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