The entire five-strong editorial team behind arts and culture magazine Drugstore Culture – including editor and Guardian columnist Matthew D’Ancona – have resigned, it has been confirmed.
In an email sent to “contributors and friends” today, D’Ancona and deputy editor Peter Hoskin said the resignations followed “instructions from management” to sack two journalists at the title.
“We cannot be complicit in their arbitrary dismissal by remaining in our posts,” they said, adding the cuts were “part of a wider plan that would gut [the title] of its spirit, purpose and energy”.
Drugstore Culture launched in July last year with an inaugural print edition, but mainly published online. It is part of Finch Publishing, which is owned by businessman Charles Finch. The website also sold merchandise, with branded t-shirts available to buy for £30 each.
D’Ancona and Hoskin said it was the owner’s intention to replace Drugstore Culture with “something that is geared towards bland e-commerce, rather than cutting-edge cultural and political journalism”.
In a statement, Finch Publishing said they were “saddened” by the sudden resignations of former Spectator editor D’Ancona and his team.
“The publishers proposed to the senior editorial team a change in the format of the publication while it was still in beta phase,” a spokesperson said.
“The proposal would have involved a reshaping of the required team. This was a proposal for discussion and in no way directive… It is the right of any business owner to make changes to ensure the success of that venture.”
Finch Publishing also strongly refuted any claims the job cuts were related to gender, with both affected journalists understood to be women.
In a Twitter thread, Drugstore Culture contributor Harriet Marsden said: “I’ve been proud to write for @DRUGSTORE_CLTR, as a magazine championing feminist ideals, and I’m prouder still now that the editors, @MatthewdAncona and @pghoskin, have resigned to defend those ideals rather than cut their excellent – and utterly blameless – staff.”
D’Ancona said he had “big ambitions” for Drugstore Culture when he spoke with Press Gazette about the magazine late last year.