Media Idolator Cut From Gawker Media
posted by April 14 at 9:46 AMon
Is Nick Denton going soft? Even his cutbacks are sentimental these days. In the old days, Denton, the publisher of Valleywag and 14 other Gawker Media blogs, would simply shutter blogs. These days, he worries first about finding them nice homes. Such is the velvet-glove treatment he’s giving Gridskipper, Wonkette, and Idolator, his blogs about, respectively, travel, politics, and music. The three blogs amount to less than 3 percent of Gawker Media’s traffic, he says. Fine, so why keep them around in any form? Silicon Alley Insider has the details on their new owners. More evidence of Denton’s increasing namby-pambosity: Instead of threatening to fire leakers, he’s encouraging us to post the internal memo announcing the move. Darling bossman, that’s no fun. But also no reason to keep the memo from you, dear readers:Nick Denton Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 7:26 AM I’m amazed we’ve managed to keep a lid on this news; that, given your naturally gossipy natures, must be a first! We’re spinning off three sites: Idolator, Gridskipper and—this one may be a surprise—Wonkette. There were indeed some rumors about Maura Johnston’s music blog late last year; they were true of course. For reasons that I’ll explain below, both it and our travel and politics sites have better commercial futures outside Gawker than within. (Excuse the corporate lingo: some of it is unavoidable.) But, first, the facts, which will be hitting the wires later this morning, or as soon as you leak this email. Go ahead!
* IDOLATOR is going to Buzznet, a music-focused web and social network. Buzznet recently acquired Idolator’s chief rival, Stereogum, and received a big investment from Universal Music Group. * GRIDSKIPPER isn’t going far: it’s being taken over by Curbed, the network founded by Lockhart Steele, in which Gawker Media is a shareholder. * WONKETTE is being spun off to the managing editor, Ken Layne, former founder of one of the web’s very first news sites, Tabloid.net. The title will become part of the Blogads network of political sites, which includes Daily Kos, among others.
Why these three sites? To be blunt: they each had their editorial successes; but someone else will have better luck selling the advertising than we did.