Back in March, the editor-in-chief of the 25-year-old, Amazon-owned camera review site DPReview.com announced that the site would be closing in April. The site was the casualty of a round of layoffs at Amazon that will affect a total of about 27,000 employees this year; DPReview was meant to stop publishing new pieces on April 10 and to be available in read-only mode for an undetermined period of time after that.
But then, something odd happened: The site simply kept publishing at a fairly regular clip throughout the entire month of April and continuing until now. A no-update update from EIC Scott Everett published in mid-May merely acknowledged that pieces were still going up and that there was “nothing to share,” which wasn’t much to go on but also didn’t make it sound as though the site were in imminent danger of disappearing.
Yesterday, Everett finally had something to share: DPReview.com and its “current core editorial, tech, and business team[s]” were being acquired by Gear Patrol, an independently owned consumer technology site founded by Eric Yang in 2007. The deal had already closed as of yesterday, June 20.
Everett’s post says that “the site will continue to operate as it was before, with all editorial coverage and site features remaining the same, and all historical content accessible.” The availability of that historical content was a major concern for many readers—high-end cameras have a long shelf life, and DPReview was an important content repository for people trying to navigate the used camera market. Everett did note that DPReview user accounts had been transferred to Gear Patrol and would be subject to Gear Patrol’s terms of service going forward.
While DPReview’s current team will continue with the site, former employees who left after the site’s closure was announced don’t appear to have been asked to come back. Former site editor Gannon Burgett criticized Amazon in harsh terms on Twitter, excoriating the company for the uncertainty it created for DPReview’s current and former employees and freelancers.
“You figure this sort of stuff out before shutting down an entire division of your company, not in hindsight after weeks of backlash and leaving freelancers to scramble for new gigs as they’re told they won’t have a job,” wrote Burgett. “The whole situation was a shit show. I’m extremely glad for everyone who did stick around and still has a job. But I know that for most of them, it wasn’t clear what was happening for at least the first two or three months, which is incredibly unfair to employees who helped build the very resource you’re about to turn around and sell.”
“And to that, I’ll say again, fuck Amazon,” said Burgett.