Lena Dunham’s Lenny’s Letter is shutting down. Lenny’s Letter was a newsletter and blog that was created by the Girls creator and her producing partner, Jenni Konner. The site featured stories on feminism, style, and politics.
In the early days of the newsletter, which launched in 2015, subscribers flocked to read the bi-weekly blasts of articles from celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Obama, Roxanne Gay, and Alicia Keys. Of course, part of the appeal was following the famous Lena Dunham brand.
The project ended this week, but there were rumblings for some time that Lenny’s Letters might be in trouble. In 2017, it was reported that the newsletter had about 500,000 subscribers with about half still opening the email blasts. Later reports would show that the letter in fact had fewer subscribers, closer to 350,000. Even with readership declining, the publication was in talks about changing its advertising management from Hearst to Conde Nast. Advertising sales had always been an issue for Hearst and the deal was supposedly happening sometime in 2018. Three months ago the newsletter was shaken again when Konner and Dunham announced they were dissolving their partnership.
Konner was the executive producer and showrunner of Girls and co-created the new HBO show Camping with Dunham. Despite her close relationship with Dunham, Konner has stayed out of the controversy that often dogged her partner. Recently, Dunham came under fire for supporting Murray Miller, a former writer for Girls who was accused of sexual assault, which prompted many to call her a hypocrite given her feminist branding.
Contributors to the newsletter recently received an email telling them they would be given “kill fees” for their unpublished work. Staff members were told of the close last week.
A farewell announcement has been posted on the site but does not go into reasons for the shutdown.