Economy

The Messenger Plans Layoffs Amid Hunt for Cash

The Messenger, a digital news start-up that launched last year with big ambitions, will cut about two-dozen employees this week as it faces dwindling cash reserves, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.

The employees are expected to be laid off later this week as part of a cost-cutting measure, said the person, who would speak only anonymously because the staff has not yet been notified. The company is facing financial headwinds in a tough digital ad market that have put a squeeze on its operations, the person said.

In a statement, The Messenger said it was “in the midst of a second-round raise,” but the company declined to provide specifics on the amount of money it was seeking. The statement did not mention the layoffs.

The Messenger has roughly 300 employees and publishes articles on politics, culture and general-interest news.

Richard Beckman, a former executive at the magazine company Condé Nast who served as The Messenger’s president, announced on Tuesday that he was leaving the company, citing “short-term health issues.” Mr. Beckman was a key early hire of Jimmy Finkelstein, a longtime media executive who founded The Messenger.

When Mr. Finkelstein started The Messenger last year, he said that he had planned to make a big splash in the digital media industry. Mr. Finkelstein told The New York Times that he hoped the company would attract 100 million monthly unique viewers by the end of 2024 and generate more than $100 million in annual revenue — targets that would put it in the same class as some major national competitors.

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