Humor site SatireWire gives last laugh

Founder Andrew Marlatt spins his last tale for the site that pokes fun at the media, but this one was a true account of the Web site's end.

Humorist Andrew Marlatt has spun his last tale for SatireWire.com, but this one was a true account of the site's end.

The nearly 3-year-old Web site, which is devoted to poking fun at anything in the media, will stop dishing out stories as of this week, but will remain as an archive, according to a note posted on the site by Marlatt.

"I've been producing SatireWire by myself for 159 Internet years (2.67 Earth years), and in a staff meeting yesterday, I all agreed it's time for me to move on," joked Marlatt, who runs the site on his own.

"While the decision was certainly difficult, the meeting was actually quite harmonious. I brought doughnuts."

Marlatt went on to say that though the site was successful, with more than 1 million visitors per month, it became a chore to produce and handle the business side.

The closure comes in contrast to a tide of dot-coms that have shuttered because of the Internet rupture. Other humor sites such as The Onion have managed to hang on during the bust. The Onion draws about 1.3 million visitors a week and sustains a profitable business from advertising and merchandise sales, according to the company's president.

SatireWire originally started as The Fnwire in December of 1999 as a personal outlet for Marlatt's writing, then it gradually drew a wider audience. Marlatt, who lives in New Haven, Conn., said the site is supported by a recently published book, "Economy of Errors: SatireWire Gives Business the Business," and by articles he writes for such publications as Fortune, The Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Chicago Sun-Times.

He said he plans to spend more time with his two sons and to continue freelance writing.

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