On January 3, when the first reports about The Messenger’s dwindling finances were published, the view from inside the company was that the news was wrong — the real problem, executives insisted, was the haters. “There’s a weird vibe among media reporters and skeptics to want to stomp on the graves of various competitors — working journalists here,” one senior executive told me. The news that the board had discussed shutting down the company within weeks? Overblown, an editor suggested, the kind of thing any board would have to talk about. To an extent, reporters there believed it. “We’re not vomiting at our desks today. We have a shit-ton of money. We have a really nice office,” one said. “With a more coherent revenue strategy, I don’t see any reason why a place with the traffic that we’re doing would not be healthy, at least for a while.”