The economic crisis has claimed its latest victim: Richard Blakeley’s monthly Media Meshing party. This morning Blakeley, video editor at Gawker.com, exclusively told mediabistro.com’s weekly events newsletter, The Press List that this month’s Media Meshing will be the last.
Blakeley began hosting the event back in April as a way to bring people from across the blogosphere together at a face-to-face event. An instant success, Meshing drew more than 200 RSVP’d guests at its inagural event. Since then, the number of people signing up for the party more than doubled and the guest list included some of the biggest names in New York’s blogging community, including Julia Allison of Time Out New York and new Web venture NonSociety, Gawker Media head Nick Denton, and former TVNewser blogger/current New York Times TV writer Brian Stelter. Despite this success, Blakeley explained in an email to The Press List, how Media Meshing wouldn’t continue to work in the current economic climate:
“There was a need for [Media Meshing] because media companies were hiring and most people freelance… The party was really a unique networking event for people in media — low pressure, organic social scenario. But in the last year, the entire environment of media has changed — bloated mastheads are being trimmed down, expenses are being cut everywhere. This time last year people would have several offers to move to various places. Now people are just happy to keep the jobs they have. So not only are many media people now unemployed, the job availability in the business has changed. And it seems kind of rude to be getting trashed when people are without jobs — no one wants the party to take on a desperate kind of vibe.”
Media Meshing may be over, but the Manhattan media party scene hasn’t seen the last of Blakeley. In his email, Blakeley also said that “this isn’t the end of media parties in the same way it isn’t the end of media. But for the moment it’s probably good to lay low for a while.” Blakeley advises media folk to “keep an eye out in the spring — I’m definitely looking to put together some events for people in the biz.” We look forward to seeing what he’ll come up with next, but we’ll definitely be pouring out a shot of whiskey or two when we bid the party farewell