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Posts Tagged ‘Jezebel’

Vogue Hires Obama’s Web Consultants

vogueblue.jpg“Can we take a strategy to build a political candidate and apply it to a magazine like Vogue?” posited Tom Florio, publishing director for the fashion title and other Condé Nast pubs, in today’s Wall Street Journal. (Upate: Jezebel, always on the ball, actually broke the story a week earlier than the WSJ.

The strategy in question would be the one designed by Blue State Digital, an online consulting agency that implemented a “relationship ladder” schema for their work with Barack Obama‘s presidential campaign, and is now working with Vogue to identify new ways for the magazine to interact with its audience.

While it might seem like a strange leap to go from political canvasing to couture outreach, Blue State is confident what worked for Obama can work for Anna Wintour.

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GawkerTV Launches With Intern Workforce, Optimistic About Ad Sales

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Today’s launch of Gawker.TV is the product of Richard Blakeley‘s three years as Nick Denton‘s video editor. Now the This Is Why You’re Fat co-author is manning his own satellite site, which will be posting videos throughout the day, with the help of the 16 or so interns currently working under Blakeley.

The fact that so much (unpaid) manpower is going into this spin-off site isn’t exactly a surprise. Gawker‘s largest-generating posts have almost always been candid videos: Tom Cruise ranting about Scientology, the Eric Dane/Rebecca Gayheart/Kari Ann Peniche sex tape, and the video shot by Blakeley of Heath Ledger’s body being wheeled out of the apartment he was staying in Soho when he died in 2008.

Denton has also admitted that it will be easier to sell ads on a site that is not as specifically themed as some of his other off-shoots like Jezebel (for women) or Fleshbot (Gawker’s sex Web site). Sales of Gawker’s other sites — Wonkette, Idolator, and Gridskipper — were similarly explained to be the result of poor ad revenue.

Gawker.TV currently has a tip box at the top of the site for users to submit videos. We have yet to hear back from Gawker Media if the tip box will automatically filter into the new open forums, as they do on Gawker’s main site.

See More: Gawker.TV

At Gawker, Traffic Graphs Only Tell Part Of The Story

Yesterday, Gawker‘s Nick Denton boasted about the tremendous revenue growth his company had experienced during the first half of the year, despite the recession.

Denton also published some graphs showing weekly traffic at his company’s sites since May 2007. All of them seem to be trending up or flat throughout 2009, except for auto site Jalopnik, which peaked early in the year and has been dropping off ever since.

Denton attributed the fall off to the Detroit Auto Show. “It produces a huge spike at the start of the year. (And a dip, afterwards.)” he told us via email. “It’s like an election distorts the numbers for political sites.”

He also sent us this helpful chart, which shows that Jalopnik’s traffic has actually almost doubled over the last year, although it missed its target for June by 10 percent.

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Looks like there is lots to celebrate at Gawker these days. And, word on the street is they’re hiring, after just announcing the addition of former LA Times Web Editor Richard Rushfield as West Coast editor for Gawker’s flagship site. If you’re job hunting right now, Nick Denton might be good person to introduce yourself to.

Update: Jalopnik editor Ray Wert tells us they’ve just hired “top-notch writing talent” John Krewson, a founding writer at The Onion, as deputy editor for the auto blog.

Friedman Gives Back $75K|Double X Takes On Jezebel|10 Reasons Why Bailing Out Newspapers Is A Bad Idea|Mag Publishers’ Buyout Deal|Bankrupt Tribune Denied Severance

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GalleyCat: New York Times columnist and author Thomas Friedman has returned a $75,000 speaker’s fee.

WebNewser: Slate’s new online women’s magazine, Double X, published a critique of Gawker’s lady blog, Jezebel, on its first day.

Silicon Alley Insider: Washington State may have approved a tax cut for newspapers, but here’s 10 reasons why bailouts like that are a bad idea.

Folio: Magazine publisher R.R. Donnelly offers to buy bankrupt rival Quebecor World for $1.3 billion.

paidContent: A bankruptcy court has approved $13 million in bonuses for Tribune Co. employees, but has denied $2 million in severance that was sought for 60 employees. Also, the IRS is investigating the company’s employee stock ownership plan.

Gawker to Become a Boys’ Club?

mad-men-amc-cast-photo.jpgNot to beat this to death, but it has yet to be noted that with the departure of Sheila McClear from Gawker the site suddenly finds itself without a female contributor for the first time since Choire Sicha took the reins from Elizabeth Spiers back in 2003. Of course, as more than one person has pointed out to us, that is not necessarily a fair measure of things as they stand now since at that time Gawker was only penned by one writer. Meaning that today is the first time since the site incorporated multiple editors in 2005 that not one of them are women. It feels strange.

No one at Gawker responded to us on this, but one wonders whether they will try to fill the gap by either hiring another woman — perhaps to do more newsy reporting — or merely incorporate more of Jezebel‘s posts onto their page to achieve a similar effect.

Does HuffPo Like Its Male Bloggers Better?

near0gg1_huff.jpgArianna Huffington apparently prefers men. That’s the conclusion anyway of a study done for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting by former HuffPoer Jessica Wakeman. Wakeman tracked the 13 featured blog posts on Huffington Post’s homepage (full disclosure: we once worked there) twice daily for for nine weeks and coded them by gender. Per the report: “During the study period (7/7/08 — 9/5/08), only 255 of 1,125 bylines — 23 percent — belonged to women.”

The study found at least one female byline on the home page at all times. [However!] Of the 89 times bylines were checked during the study, not once did the number of women’s bylines equal those belonging to men. Only eight times did women account for more than a third of all bylines. And Arianna Huffington, appearing 57 times, accounted for more than a fifth of all women’s bylines; 45 of those occupied the most visible top post.

So, these numbers — Wakeman points out they fall “perfectly in line with elite print media’s abysmal gender numbers” — possibly do not reflect so well on a woman who professes to be an ardent supporter of “fearless” strong women. That said, does the study reflect HuffPo as a whole?

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Elizabeth Spiers’ New (ish) Project: An Online Maxim for Women

spiers.jpgElizabeth Spiers, who launched Gawker back in 2002 along with Nick Denton, and also had a hand in launching this blog (among others), is talking with WWD about her new project, something she is describing it as an online “Maxim for women.” Per WWD:

Her idea is to “cater to the female id and the female ego…It’ll be a little less afraid of provocation than a lot of print magazines are. You can do that on the Web.” Spiers said her magazine would be less urban and would skew older than Jezebel, with which her idea is often compared.

Interesting, yes? Especially considering her track record. And while it may seem like Spiers is attempting to jump on the Jezebel wagon-train with this plan (which is still in the early stages) she did in fact have it in mind back in April of 2007 when she parted ways with Deadhorse media. Here’s proof.

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Gawker Lays Off 19 Editorial Staff Including Moe Tkacik

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Gawker had their own black Friday newsdump today. In a move that may soon become known as the Denton doctrine, Gawker head Nick Denton announced that he was preemptively laying off 19 members of the editorial staff, including recently hired Moe Tkacik, and suspending page view bonuses for the first quarter of next year due to the upcoming fiscal crisis. Earlier this year Denton cut loose three of Gawker’s sites including Wonkette with similar explanations. We spoke to Denton earlier and he confirmed that this was indeed a preemptive move since none of the sites had yet to see any cancellations.

Denton declined to give us a rundown of who was being laid off, though Valleywag confirmed they had already cut three; judging from the memo that was posted to the site, it looks like Valleywag, Consumerist, and Fleshbot will be the hardest hit. The memo also confirmed earlier reports that Denton will be replacing himself with former NYO-er Gabriel Snyder. Why Snyder?

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Blogging Officially Hits the Big Time

scott-gap.jpgWe’ve mentioned a number of times in the past few months how bloggers and the term blogging seem to be infiltrating the mainstream. The Times used the term “blog” in an above the fold headline. Obama mentioned bloggers in his Berlin speech. And just this week a Talk of the Town item quoted Jezebel. But nothing says success like an ad campaign! Which is what Scott Schuman, also known as The Sartorialist (by far the most interesting fashion site on the web) has landed at the Gap. Who says there’s no money in blogging!

All Good Things, Etc.: Jezebel Moe to Radar

Picture+7.pngRadar announced late last night that Jezebel stalwart Moe Tkacik is decamping to the website as of August 18. Tkacik’s departure will be a big loss for the Gawker Media run Jezebel; she’s roundly considered one of the stars of the site where she covers the politics beat and pens the daily feature Crappy Hour, among other things.

No word yet on what motivated the departure, though recently Tkacik has been on the receiving end of a lot of not-so-nice attention in the aftermath of an appearance on Lizz Winstead’s “Shoot the Messenger” show (backstory here). That said, Tkacik, a former WSJer, was one of Jezebel’s original hires when it launched in May 2007, and fourteen months is a lifetime in the career of the blogger. Meanwhile, Radar continues to be the place where everything good Gawker seems to end up. Former Gawker writer Alex Balk took over as executive online editor last fall, Choire Sicha has been guest-writing for the Fresh Intelligence blog for the last month or so, and former Wonkette, and current Swampland scribe Ana Marie Cox signed on as a contributing editor earlier this year.

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