Time Inc. Gives Office Pirates the Hook

Time Inc. will pull the plug on the Web-only office humor site it launched in February. The company plans to parlay the experience it gained from its brief run into future online efforts.

Office Pirates is set to sink on September 1, roughly six months after its launch in February. Measured against other humor sites, the site never rose above a rank of 115, according to Hitwise. Viacom’s Comedy Central ranks eighth, and Heavy.com holds the largest market share, with 17.8 percent of traffic in the online humor space. Blogs like Wall Street Folly and Deal Breaker began predicting the site’s demise earlier this month.

Time Inc. staffers were told of the cut early Friday in a memo from President Ned Desmond. “Mark Golin and his small team accomplished a great deal in a few months, and we’ve learned a lot along the way about online launches, video production, audience development and, of course, humor. We’ll use that experience on other projects,” the memo said.

The memo said Time Inc. plans to find positions within its organization for the Office Pirates staff. It also mentioned plans for an online humor initiative from Sports Illustrated, which will launch early next year.

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