The site formerly known as Fusion.net is rebranding as a site tentatively called Splinter.
Four Gizmodo Media Group (GMG) sources familiar with the decision say Fusion is set to roll out a version of its new name some time in July, although it is unclear whether it will be named Splinter, or a similar acronym.
According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Univision filed a trademark for the name “Splinter” in June. The filing describes “Splinter” as a website that that would provide “information and commentary in the field of news, science, culture, politics, and entertainment.” A GMG source cautioned that the name “Splinter” could still be subject to change, since Univision hasn’t seemed to secure the domain name Splinter.com yet.
Some employees don’t seem fond of the rebranding. When asked about the planned new name, one texted an emoji of a frog sipping tea, a familiar meme meant to convey doubt.
There has been confusion broadly about Fusion.net for months.
Fusion.net, a Univision site that merged into the former Gawker Media sites known as Gizmodo Media Group, became Fusion.kinja.com in May when the Fusion television channel, a separate entity operated by Univision, assumed the Fusion.net domain.
GMG site leads and executives took weeks to develop a rebranded name for fusion.kinja.com, which some view as an opportunity for the site to have a fresh start after years of traffic woes and occasional confusion over the divergent missions of the television channel and the website.
In an interview in June, GMG CEO Raju Narisetti said it made sense to make a clean break between the website and the Fusion television channel.
“We added a big politics component to it, we added the special projects desk to it. We beefed up voices. So the topics and what we were trying to do and the audiences we were selling were starting to diverge,” Narisetti told Business Insider then. “It made sense to say, ‘If that’s going to happen, and there’s already marketplace confusion about is this the website of the TV side, let the TV folks have it.”