While Vox is positioning it as more of a brand transition, Racked as it is now will wholly cease to be. Something called “The Goods” focused on “all things consumer culture” is set to launch this fall within the main Vox web site as a vertical.
As of now, 8 of Racked’s current staff of 10 will be working on the new vertical, while the remaining two will be working elsewhere within Vox Media, according to a Vox spokeswoman. Senior reporter Chavie Lieber tweeted about “relaunching,” but admitted it will be with a new name and logo under the Vox banner.
Racked’s executive editor Julia Rubin is also staying on. She retweeted a statement from Racked about being excited to be “joining forces” with Vox and said Racked will continue to publish content until The Goods launches. “We’re not going anywhere,” Racked added.
The move comes after Vox at the end of February laid off about 50 staffers, mainly at Racked, Curbed and SB Nation, as well as from Vox’s video services department. Vox chief executive officer Jim Bankoff said in a memo at the time that the layoffs were mainly due to a pivot away from video. Vox also denied outright in a statement that Racked was folding.
Racked editor in chief Britt Aboutaleb also denied that the site was folding, but she has since left the title and no longer appears on the masthead. In a post not long after the February layoffs, Aboutaleb said she would be taking some time off and alluded to something “behind the scenes” at Vox. The spokeswoman confirmed that Aboutaleb is now working as general manager of Curbed and Eater.
When Vox brought Aboutaleb to Racked from Yahoo Style, editorial director Lockhart Steele said the hire was about bringing the site “to the next level.” Instead the brand seems to have faltered and Steele, who founded the Curbed sites that Vox in 2013 acquired, was fired last fall over “misconduct” after a Medium post alleging harassment by unnamed Vox employees.
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