Following the sudden shutdown of The Messenger and the termination of its entire staff, owner Jimmy Finkelstein is now facing legal challenges. A proposed class action suit alleges that Finkelstein violated the WARN Act by dismissing 300 employees without prior notice, severance, or healthcare, a move deemed in violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act).
The lawsuit seeks class certification along with unpaid wages and additional fees. This development comes a day after The Messenger, a digital news site, announced its unexpected closure due to challenges in securing sufficient capital for profitability. Founder Jimmy Finkelstein attributed the shutdown to economic headwinds affecting many media companies, with The Messenger encountering significant hurdles as a new company.
Launched in May, The Messenger aimed to be a prominent player in the digital media landscape, featuring interviews with notable figures such as former President Donald Trump. However, the venture reportedly incurred losses of around $38 million following a $50 million funding round and struggled amid challenges in the advertising sector.
The shutdown of The Messenger reflects broader challenges in the media industry, with other outlets like the Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed News also grappling with layoffs and closures. The legal action against Finkelstein underscores the difficulties employees face when companies shut down abruptly, leaving them without notice or compensation.