May 16, 2016
The Toast is Toast
by Ryan Harrington
Find a new way to start your day, folks. As of July 1st The Toast will be shuttered.
The beloved daily blog—which publishes humorous, feminist, literature-oriented, and proudly uncategorizable articles—cited financial viability in tandem with a natural sense of closure as causes for the demise.
Since its 2013 founding as the brainchild of editors Nicole Cliffe and Mallory Ortberg, The Toast has succeeded admirably in its mission of being “happy, then dignified.” In a May 13 statement / conversation about their decision, the founders said:
MALLORY: It’s difficult to convey an accurate sense of how much we both love The Toast and everything it’s become and also being ready to stop! Both are true, at the same time. We’d both, I think, started to notice the ways in which we just couldn’t keep up the pace we started three years ago.
NICOLE: I had to step back and look at how my responsibilities at The Toast had gradually drifted from writing and editing over to day-to-day administrative WORK and watching the money, and calling accountants and dealing with lawyers, etc. And to realize that I didn’t trust anyone to take over that chunk of my duties, nor could I pay someone to do it even if I DID trust them to do so responsibly, unless I started privately bankrolling the site on a regular basis, which Ayn Rand made clear is a mug’s game. I have bailed out the site on a couple of different occasions, but there is a big difference for me in one-off unexpected emergencies and part-subsidizing the site month-by-month, which was starting to be more of a reality.
The team explored time-honored options like increasing ad buys and making editorial decisions that linked The Toast more closely to the news cycle, but decided in the end that sometimes both happiness and dignity can be found in death.
In a month that has already brought us the end of the long-running Bookslut, anchorless online readers will be in search of new shores. May we get lucky with some lush undiscovered worlds, rather than the sere and infertile bloglands we probably deserve.
Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.