June 23, 2014
Shiny Media Update: story takes a colorful turn

As we reported early this morning, blog network Shiny Media has been placed into administration, but the story around the closure of the UK's largest blog network is starting to become colorful.

The company itself is yet to officially confirm the administration, however co-founder Katie Lee (who was forced out of Shiny in February but remains a shareholder) confirmed the story on Twitter, saying in a tweet that "Looks like everyone knows Shiny Media has gone into administration. Still not entirely sure what's going on tbh. Sorry for all writers." Anna Leach who writes for the company's ShinyShiny blog tweeted that "ahem. Shiny Shiny is *sob* on hold, while parent company shiny media sorts itself out. Sorry darlings! hope to be back soon."

Piecing together the story prior to the administration has been difficult. We know Shiny started to get into trouble last year, however the company had, by its own accounts turned a corner. It was presumed that Shiny banked $4.5 million in funding in 2007, because that's what Shiny said in their own media, but that funding may never have existed, or may have been significantly less than the figure reported. Katie Lee on Twitter again: "Just to clarify, because it's always bugged me, Bright Station did not put $4.5m into Shiny Media."

But it gets even more bizarre than a phantom round of funding. Katie Lee: "It was incorrectly reported in the press and we were told to stick with the story. Was mortified." It wasn't incorrectly reported in the press, because the press reported on what Shiny said at the time...and still says on their corporate blog.

We've dug through the archives and related content and it would appear almost certain that Bright Station invested in Shiny...but at an amount lower $4.5 million. What doesn't make sense is that Bright Station itself never attempted to correct the record either: Bright Station's founders were interviewed in the Time in January 2007, a piece that includes the $4.5 million figure.

The current status of the company is also up in the air going forward. Lee writes that "my fellow co-founders, Chris Price and Ashley Norris. Don't know who administrators were. All presented as fait accompli" suggesting that the administration was imposed by Bright Station. But then we get this: "As far as I know, Shiny Media has already been bought [before I even knew it had gone into administration]. So hopefully some jobs OK." It's been sold then placed into administration doesn't make a lot of sense. Shiny Media's staff aren't waiting around to find out: Lee again "Shiny Media Staff - looking for a job, please contact me ASAP!"