In light of its merger with the Huffington Post, AOL is laying off 900 staffers, and ridding itself of some of its most popular sites. Today, Racked reports that the company laid off its Editorial Director of Women's & Lifestyle Programming, Colleen Curtis. The only remaining Stylelist staff member is beauty editor Dana Oliver.
Granted, the two major positions at Stylelist--fashion news editor and senior fashion editor--are already unfilled. Susannah Cahn left before the new year to launch Fashion, Etc., and Sarah Cristobal left last week to head up editorial content at Diane von Furstenberg.
Is AOL about to scrap Stylelist altogether? Seems a little strange, given its reach. (The site pulls in about 7 million unique users a month. That's A LOT for a fashion site.) But most of Stylelist's traffic undoubtedly comes from the AOL homepage. Since we're unsure of what a Huffpo/AOL merger is going to look like in the end, maybe this is just an indicator of what's to come. AOL has spent the last two years hiring very expensive journalists to run their sites. Huffpo has not. And fashion is not the hugest market out there. Having two sites covering the same news in a similar fashion probably isn't the smartest idea financially. (Especially when Stylelist isn't considered a news leader, but more of a service site with a focus on celebrities. HuffPo, on the other hand, is a news cranker.)
Overall, it still sucks. Mostly because a lot of very smart, talented people are about to lose their jobs.
(Full disclosure: I've freelanced for AOL Stylelist in the past.)