Monday, April 14, 2008

BREAKING: Gawker Media To Sell Off Wonkette, Idolator, Gridskipper

As per an internal Gawker Media notice:

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
* WONKETTE is being spun off to the managing editor, Ken Layne, former
founder of one of the web's very first news sites, 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.

Music audiences are fragmented across genres; Maura's Idolator gave
Stereogum a good run, but a group with a whole array of music sites
will command more attention from record labels than we could. In the
case of Gridskipper, our urban travel guide, we could never match
Curbed in attention to city-specific content and advertising. As for
Wonkette: political advertisers are a strange breed; they don't come
through the same agencies our sales people deal with.

So why not wait, at least till the election? Well, since the end of
last year, we've been expecting a downturn. Scratch that: since the
middle of 2006, when we sold off Screenhead, shuttered Sploid and
declared we were "hunkering down", we've been waiting for the internet
bubble to burst. No, really, this time. And, even if not, better safe
than sorry; and better too early than too late.
And, then, once this recession is
done with, and we come up from the bunker to survey the internet
wasteland around us, we can decide on what new territories we want to

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