September 30, 2013
Cuts coming to Gawker Media, Denton claims wide model is over

UPDATE: since publishing this post, Valleywag has been cut. Details here.

UPDATE 2: Consumerist is officially on the market

Gawker Media head Nick Denton delivered another doom and gloom essay today, arguing that advertising online is headed for a big fall.

You can read the whole thing here, and others are talked about the advertising numbers, so we won't go over them as well.

Two takeaways though are interesting. Denton notes that 91% of advertising revenues at Gawker Media come from the top six titles from a total of 12. At the same time, rumors have surfaced that Denton is trying to find a buyer for The Consumerist. Whether Denton may be looking to close or sell the other 5 lower performing sites isn't known, but we can work out which sites are facing issues based on what Denton wrote in October.

Denton previously named the best performing titles as Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker, and Gawker, and suggested at the time that Jezebel, io9, Deadspin and Jalopnik were close to obtaining that level. He has previously made cuts at The Consumerist, Fleshbot and Valleywag. Defamer wasn't mentioned then so add that to the bottom four list. Of the remainder, Deadspin has low traffic, and Jalopnik is car industry focused...and we all know what's going on in that industry at the moment, so its a good chance of being in the bottom six.

Denton also made mention of the wide model in his post, which is similar to what I was talking about in the blog networks are dying post. Denton doesn't argue for the one big site model, but he does say that the wide model is over in favor of key brands:

Consolidate titles. Time-pressed media buyers are drawn to scale. Most websites are still way too small to register with the audience-tracking services that agencies rely upon. Of 18 titles launched at Gawker Media, we've already spun off or shuttered six. Even now, 91% of advertising revenues come from the top six remaining titles. Every media group has a similarly lopsided distribution. It's time to choose which properties make it aboard the lifeboat. The era of the sprawling network—established franchises mixed in with experimental sites—is over.

Emphasis is mine, but its the key line.

(img credit: The Guardian)