Sunday, April 5, 2009

Buzzkill Lay Offs Mean It's Time For A Drink has the news that Buzz Media (what used to be called Buzzkill) has laid off around 75 employees ("product developers, engineers, design and editorial"), despite the recent influx of a 12.5 million dollar investment.

Buzznet/Buzz Media is a multimedia and entertainment network of about 40 "properties" and most notably to me, is now the full owner of popular mp3 blog Stereogum. That site was perhaps my very first online destination to download music in a legal way, as promotional material for bands. The site was instrumental in shaping my music taste and has been the source of countless discoveries.

I stopped visiting Stereogum around the time they went corporate, largely because I'd grown out of the online independent music world but also because of the direction the site was headed. Whereas intially music blogs felt homegrown and dare I say, maverick-y, as the biggest grew (Stereogum, BrooklynVegan, Gorilla vs. Bear and the like) they took on much more of a publicity/promotional feel. Certain bands were pushed to death and I felt the critical eye and editorial mind of the sites slipping.

Don't get me wrong. Making money off of so-called "music journalism" is all I could ever wish for myself, my contemporaries and my influences, but to see this big money corporate involvement in something I once held so dear can't help but make me feel a little bit funny inside. Layoffs? At a blog? Sure, that's the new reality but whatever happened to one guy and his computer? Back in my day...

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