Sinclair Media announced plans on Tuesday to shutter its news portal Cumulus Media, which was founded in 2016 as a competitor to BuzzFeed.
The news portal’s founders, Alex Trombetta and Michael McAdams, left the company last year, citing the uncertainty of the Trump administration.
But they have since started up another tech-focused venture, MediaBlow, which offers the same platform to news publishers, and the company has raised over $1 billion in funding.
The company said in a statement that the move to shutter the site “allows us to focus our attention on our core business of providing media to consumers, as well as creating a better digital experience for all of our content creators.”
“This is the right time to close this business, with the full support of the company and its investors, as it is in our best interests to focus on its core mission,” Sinclair said.
The move to close the site comes after the Trump Administration banned all advertising from the website in March and its owners sought to take legal action against the ban, claiming it violated the First Amendment rights of media publishers.
“The decision to close Cumulus comes at a time when we are facing the largest disruption to our editorial content in our history,” Sinclair Media CEO Bob Sinclair said in the statement.
Cumulus Media was founded by McAdams and Tromhadi as a counter to BuzzFeed, which had grown to be the No. 1 search engine in the US. “
As part of this transition, we will no longer use content from MediaBlows, but will instead focus on building a new business that will deliver the highest quality of news and information for our readers and advertisers.”
Cumulus Media was founded by McAdams and Tromhadi as a counter to BuzzFeed, which had grown to be the No. 1 search engine in the US.
The two men have been friends since they were in middle school, and McAdams had worked as a web developer at Yahoo for several years.
McAdams told Business Insider he left the platform as he was unhappy with the content of its content, which he said was often inaccurate.
“I didn’t feel that there was much I could do about it,” he said.
“But I felt like it was going to be more of an emotional blow than a practical one, because I knew it was a very large and very expensive platform to run.”
The company had also launched a news app called Cumulus.
“That was the idea behind that,” McAdams said.
“But they were a very small company at the time, so I knew there was going be a huge amount of work.”
After the Trump ban, the site was the second most popular search on Google, according to Google Trends data, and was the most viewed site on the web.
But Sinclair Media did not go after the site as a threat, McAdams told BI, and had a good relationship with the owners, which is why the company did not make any efforts to shut it down.
“It was not a decision we made lightly, because we were working on a new venture that was going in the direction of building something much more ambitious,” McAdam said.
McIsaac added that the company had not been able to hire more journalists because of the ban.
“It was pretty much a disaster,” he told BI.
McIlsis said the company was still looking to hire journalists, but that the hiring freeze was “a big blow to us”.
The company did say that it would continue to offer a free newsletter for subscribers, as the founders had previously told BI that they would continue offering their newsletter.
“Our goal with the new MediaBlock is to offer more content for our subscribers and to build a community around what we’re doing, and to create a better experience for users,” McIsaac said.