"LMDE is special, it’s extremely exciting to work on, it holds strategic interests (in the eventuality of a complete departure from Ubuntu for instance) and it keeps getting better." Clem's answer to #27 on http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2577
This does not sound like the imminent end of LMDE to me.
This is the article I read that concerned me with the future of LMDE.
I really enjoy working with Debian and I’m really happy with the quality of LMDE. I can see a few things which are better on the Ubuntu side, but also things that are better here with Debian. Overall I’d say they’re pretty much on par at this stage, with a little advantage going to Ubuntu because it’s frozen, thus doesn’t require people to read/understand the problematics related to APT upgrades.
The big difference though is popularity and adoption. LMDE started as an R&D project, it was successful and so we continued it. Nowadays it’s as popular as one of our DE editions, but it requires maintaining on a different base, testing UPs and it is declined into two DEs. That’s a lot of extra work compared to a MATE, Xfce or KDE edition.
It would have to become more popular and gather wider adoption from the community for us to put more resources into it. We’re giving it our best shot each time and we hope people will enjoy it, but at the end of the day our focus needs to reflect what the majority of our users want. LMDE is special, it’s extremely exciting to work on, it holds strategic interests (in the eventuality of a complete departure from Ubuntu for instance) and it keeps getting better. But it does need more adoption and we do spend too much resources on it already with the current level of adoption.
Found here http://www.itworld.com/open-source/407741/will-linux-mint-debian-edition-survive
Haha! I just realized I'm quoting the same article you posted. Oh well... Maybe if there were more donations for LMDE, then the Mint team could spend more time on it. I think that in the direction that Ubuntu is going with licensing, LMDE adoption makes sense as the future of Mint. Cinnamon is already independent of Gnome, why not be independent of Ubuntu?