The Pool 'in crisis talks', with staff awaiting pay

The Pool 'in crisis talks', with staff awaiting pay

Women’s lifestyle website The Pool is reportedly in crisis talks, with staff yet to receive their January wages.

The online magazine is fighting for its future with both freelancers and employees out of pocket, according to the Guardian.

Following revelations that freelancers were owed money, there was an announcement earlier this month that The Pool had frozen commissions in order to resolve the backlog. Now the 24-strong workforce in the central London-headquartered website are reportedly still waiting to receive their wages for this month. 

The website's recently appointed editor Cate Sevilla said in a statement to the Guardian: “I can’t comment on the fate of the company; as of right now, I’ve still not received confirmation of any possible outcomes. I’m deeply concerned about not only the payments to our freelancers, but that of the entire staff, who have sustained months of change and uncertainty, particularly in the last few weeks.

“I can only trust that both matters and any other outstanding issues will be resolved promptly and with integrity.”

On Twitter, she added: "I still have hope for The Pool and what it's meant to stand for. I hope that the business can find a way to put things right, so that we're able to continue to publish the incredible stories we're known for."

Sevilla took over editorship of The Pool from one of its co-founders, Sam Baker, last September. Baker remained as chief content officer, before leaving the company on 17th January.

In her departure announcement posted on Instagram, Baker said: "The last five years have been incredible, exhausting, exhilarating, terrifying, utterly and completely life changing. Not so much a learning curve as a learning vertical, but it’s more than six months since I handed over the reins to new management on The Pool, and now it’s time to move on."

According to the Guardian, Dominic Hill is now the only remaining director and has limited involvement in the media.

The online magazine was launched March 2015 by Baker and broadcaster Lauren Laverne, featuring significant book content such as its regular Bedtime Bookclub feature. It ended into various literary initiatives, including several with Pan Macmillan on a number of projects including a shared reading experience and live event for Kate Morton’s sixth novel The Clockmaker’s Daughter (Pan Mac).The Pool also published two books with Pan Mac, My Everything Book in 2017 and Life Honestly in the following year.

Other book-related ventures included a Hay Festival partnership last year and creating a joint crime writing competition with Virago in 2017.

No representative of The Pool has yet responded to requests for further comment from The Bookseller.