Over at the L.A. Times ex-Gawker editor (and recent Radaronline scribe) Choire Sicha is speculating as to why Nick Denton decided last week to shut down Valleywag and fold it into the main Gawker site. The short version is that in the not too distant future things may actually be worse than Denton’s doomsday predictions of last week. Also? If Sicha had just waited a few more days he could have got Dan Abrams to pay him for this sort of thing! Some of Sicha’s thoughts:
It makes sense from a business perspective in conjunction with the selling of Consumerist, and after the cross-company staff layoffs, and after the selling-off of the other sites they’ve already done. Plus whatever they’re doing to what they now consider the outlier sites. Plus I don’t think this is the end of this stuff over there!
But Valleywag, which probably had an editorial budget of between $300,000 and $400,000 a year, most likely has much less income, and while I presume it certainly paid for itself, it probably doesn’t do much to offset the costs of the company’s main office — or, at least, it doesn’t if you factor in a 40% downturn.
I think — and this is just what I think — that the sprawl of sites is too much for him to manage. He tends to turn his attention to sites one at a time, to try to spiff them up, and then has to move on. Now that there’s no editorial director, that situation will be more extreme. I think he’s made too much work for himself.