Doughnuts mark end of spoof site

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 August, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 August, 2002, 12:00am

SatireWire, the spoof news site that bought the world CEO Dream Dates and The Axis of Just as Evil, has delivered its final punchline.

Andrew Marlatt, founder and sole employee at SatireWire, blamed the decision on creative differences.

'I've been producing SatireWire by myself for 159 Internet years (2.67 Earth years), and in a staff meeting yesterday, I all agreed it's time for me to move on,' said Mr Marlatt in a statement published on the site this week.

'While the decision was certainly difficult, the meeting was actually quite harmonious. I brought doughnuts.'

Mr Marlatt launched SatireWire in 1999, as an outlet for his humorous writing. Since then, the site's popularity has soared, from 400 visitors in December of that year, to a million a month today.

Global news exclusives broken by the site included the discovery that Canada owned a warship.

It also recorded the disturbing news that the Internet was making it increasingly difficult for Americans to ignore the rest of the world.

There was also the report on the controversial merger of the Hindu and Jewish faiths to create the Hinjew super religion ('a race of 900 million people who, no matter how many times they are reincarnated, can never please their mothers').

The Connecticut-based freelance writer said the site was profitable, making money from content syndication, advertising and book sales. However, he said he had run out of inspiration and wanted to spend more time with his family.

'I've been very lucky. But the bottom line is, it has ceased to be fun. My heart is not in it. My head is not in it,' he said.

Rather than put the site up for sale, Mr Marlatt said he would leave it online as an archive of the past three years, although he said he might occasionally add plugs for his book Economy of Errors, which was published in June.

Mr Marlatt admitted that closing a profitable site could be seen as an odd move. 'It's completely counter-intuitive to stop now when the site so successfully supports the book, and is making good money. But I run an Internet site for a living. What do I know from intuitive?'