Rumour has it that the site has been sold. The new owner doesn't want to take over any contract obligations so at the end of the year, when everything expires, the new owners will take over and not have to honour any contracts. Then they can change and/or close down the site. If you think about it it kind of makes sense why Jeff isn't talking to anyone and isn't answering his emails/phone (even though he's NOT away).
Normally I'd call Jeff to see what's up.........but what's the point......he's not answering anyone and we don't get along anyways.