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Source: Pitchfork / Pitchforl

The vaunted music publication Pitchfork will be merged into GQ, and the shocking announcement came with a wave of layoffs.

On Wednesday (Jan. 17), an internal memo from Anna Wintour, the chief content officer of Condé Nast, announced that Pitchfork would be merged with the men’s magazine GQ. “Today we are evolving our Pitchfork team structure by bringing the team into the GQ organization. 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,” the memo began.

“Both Pitchfork and GQ have unique and valuable ways that they approach music journalism, and we are excited for the new possibilities together,” the memo by Wintour continued before adding that there would be layoffs. “Some of our Pitchfork colleagues will be leaving the company today,” she said.

Wintour would go on to thank Puja Patel, the editor-in-chief of Pitchfork who would wind up being one of those employees laid off. “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.”

Under Patel’s stewardship, the publication moved from being a masthead that handed out minute praise to artists since its inception in 1996 to becoming more diverse in its base of contributing writers. It was also attached to music festivals in Mexico City and London. In that time, it has faced heavy criticism for its past music reviews, prompting it to “do-over” certain reviews.

Condé Nast announced in November 2023 that it would be laying off 5% of its present workforce, amounting to 270 employees. The publishing brand acquired Pitchfork in 2015. Many music journalists mourned the news along with those at Pitchfork who were laid off, including features editor Jill Mapes. “After nearly 8 yrs, mass layoffs got me. glad we could spend that time trying to make it a less dude-ish place just for GQ to end up at the helm,” Maples wrote on X.

‘Pitchfork’ To Be Merged Into ‘GQ’ Magazine, Layoffs Initiated  was originally published on hiphopwired.com