Report: 'New York Post' shuts down Pagesix.com gossip site

Eighteen people will apparently be laid off. The reason, according to site management, is a downturn in the economy.

The Britney-and-Brangelina crowd may shed a tear (or not): Gawker reported Thursday that the New York Post has closed down PageSix.com, the online arm of its famed gossip page, after just three months in business.

Citing tough economic conditions, PageSix.com Senior Vice President Jennifer Jehn confirmed the shutdown to Gawker's Nick Denton. "Given the difficulty in the economy, it was not the right time for this launch," Jehn reportedly said, adding that the decision would be accompanied by 18 layoffs.

Denton also pointed out that PageSix.com's traffic didn't exactly take off. Here's the thing: With behemoths like AOL's TMZ.com, Sugar Publishing's PopSugar, and the infamous Perez Hilton, online celebrity gossip is a completely saturated market. Despite Page Six's print reputation, it apparently just couldn't compete with Perez's rainbow hair and Microsoft Paint captions.

Nick Denton probably isn't mourning. Gawker Media, which he founded in 2002, operates a number of gossip titles from the eponymous New York media rag to the Hollywood-focused Defamer, and the closing of PageSix.com means one fewer competitor in the mix. But if, as Denton speculates, PageSix.com fell at the hands of an advertising downturn, that could hurt the rest of the gossip press too.

And as a Gawker commenter pointed out, Salon.com ironically published an article about the end of the golden age of celebrity gossip on the same day that PageSix.com closed its doors.

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