So yesterday I was browsing Gizmodo on my tablet. Before that I had been using an app which only works in portrait mode (ugh) and for some reason I was still holding my tablet like that when browsing Gizmodo. To my surprise, I found that everything fit nicely on the screen with relatively little wasted space and that I could even read the entire article without scrolling. Everything that bothers me about the new layout is suddenly a non-issue when I hold my device in portrait mode.
I did not check what the old layout looks like in portrait mode so I can't compare, but it sure looks like the new layout was designed with portrait orientation in mind. Whether or not this is a good thing is up to you to decide; I personally think that nobody in their right minds would choose portrait orientation over landscape in normal situations but maybe I'm wrong. At least something which looks bad in what I think of as the right orientation but good in what I think of as the wrong orientation is better than something which looks bad regardless of orientation.