The new owners of Cheddar News, once touted as a kind of next-generation financial news network ala CNBC, have furloughed staff members because of “unforeseen” circumstances, the New York Times reported.
Cheddar, founded in early 2016, was acquired by cable operator Altice USA in 2019 for $200 million. Last Thursday (Dec. 28), Altice USA said it sold Cheddar to Archetype, a media company owned by private-equity firm Regent, for undisclosed terms.
On Jan. 2, Cheddar employees received an email informing them that they were to suspend work immediately, per the Times. “We would like to have given you more notice of this action, but the decision was necessitated by unforeseen internal and external factors that required rapid adjustments in our business strategy,” the message said.
Reps for Archetype and Regent did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for Altice USA referred inquiries to Cheddar’s new owners. Emails sent Tuesday to multiple Cheddar staff members listed on the news outlet’s website returned error messages that said, “The email account that you tried to reach is inactive.”
Archetype’s news and lifestyle brands include Sunset Magazine, Military Times, Army Times, Defense News, Federal Times and HistoryNet. The company’s deal to buy Cheddar from Altice USA also included RateMyProfessors.com, which Cheddar had acquired from Viacom in 2018.
Cheddar was founded by Jon Steinberg, former president and COO at BuzzFeed. Last year, Steinberg joined publishing company Future plc as CEO.
In a statement posted Dec. 28, Archetype said, “Cheddar has helped transform the way millennials have accessed television news since its groundbreaking debut broadcast from an iPhone in 2016. We are excited to assist Cheddar in expanding its reach as the definitive independent ‘Voice of What’s Next’ empowering new audiences to be informed and engaged citizens in an ever-changing world.”
Keith Bowen, president of Altice USA’s news, advertising and programming, said in a statement last week about the sale of Cheddar, “We are incredibly proud of what Cheddar News has accomplished within the Altice USA portfolio, growing its distribution to reach new viewers with fresh and exciting need-to-know news content. Archetype is an excellent choice to take the network to the next level while enabling Altice USA to focus on its telecommunications, advanced advertising and hyperlocal news businesses.”