Roger Lynch CEO of Condé Nast had said the company whose outlets include Vogue and The New Yorker would lay off five percent of its total staff, about 300 employees

New York (AFP) - Conde Nast is merging the popular digital music publication Pitchfork with the men’s magazine GQ, a decision that has triggered anger over resulting layoffs and concern for the outlet’s future.

In an email to staff obtained by AFP, Anna Wintour – the chief content officer for Conde Nast, the media conglomerate whose outlets include Vogue – announced the changes and resulting layoffs.

“Today we are evolving our Pitchfork team structure by bringing the team into the GQ organization,” the email reads. “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.”

Pitchfork started in 1996 as an independent music blog out of Minnesota, growing into a popular reference that extensively covered alt and independent music, before becoming a standard-bearer of both music reviews and news coverage of the industry.

Conde Nast acquired it in 2015.

GQ is a monthly men’s magazine, with a focus on feature writing and celebrity coverage.

“Both Pitchfork and GQ have unique and valuable ways that they approach music journalism, and we are excited for the new possibilities together,” said Wintour in the memo, adding that “some of our Pitchfork colleagues will be leaving the company today” without specifying how many.

The organizational change also meant the outlet’s editor-in-chief, Puja Patel, would be leaving, Wintour said.

The news, which was first reported by the outlet Semafor, prompted an outpouring of anger and grief on social media, including from laid-off journalists, former Pitchfork staffers and people across the industry.

“I’ve referred to my job at pitchfork as being on a ferris wheel at closing time, just waiting for them to yank me down,” wrote Jill Mapes, a Pitchfork features editor, on social media platform X. “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.”

Amanda Petrusich, a staff music writer at The New Yorker, said she “wouldn’t have a career without Pitchfork. Probably wouldn’t know much about music, either.”

“Feels like a death knell for the record review as a form. Absolutely gutted for my dear, dear friends & colleagues.”

Conde’s Pitchfork decision comes after the company’s CEO Roger Lynch said last fall it would lay off five percent of the total staff – about 300 employees.