The Year of the Living Brands: Why Media IP Refused to Die in 2023

Gawker, Jezebel, Mel, Paper Magazine—and more—died and came back this year. Why?

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Last week, in the waning days of the year, media company Literally Media acquired lifestyle publisher Mel Magazine from Recurrent Ventures, adding the formerly dormant title to its growing stable of comedy brands.

In dusting off the shuttered publisher, Literally Media provided a fitting end to a year defined by the death, and subsequent resurrection, of nearly one-dozen beloved media titles. 

Mel joins only Gawker—which folded in February, only to be acquired once more in November—in sharing the dubious distinction of having been resurrected now on three separate occasions. 

But both join a larger group of publishers, including Jezebel, Splinter, Paper Magazine and Vice Media, that returned from the dead this year.

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