Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Another Blog Casualty: Conservative Pajamas Media Ad Network Shutting Down

The blog network notion, which seemed to make plenty of sense a couple of years ago, looks a lot less appealing now. Latest evidence: Pajamas Media, which was supposed to sell ads for a group of right-leaning bloggers, is shutting down its ad network.

Pajamas Media itself isn’t shutting down, CEO Roger L. Simon, explains in a post–it will be concentrating instead on its PajamasTV video site. I’d show you a clip, but the site doesn’t appear to allow embedding. But it does have a channel dedicated to Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher, if that appeals to you.

So why get out of the ad network business? Simple, Simon says: “It was losing money and we couldn’t see how in the reasonable future that would change.” The slightly longer version:

Suffice to say, that organized online media is a work in progress and we’re all trying to figure it out. When we began PJM, we tried to be as generous as we could with bloggers…, but we evidently over-estimated. I hope we’ve all benefited from the experience…

Old media seems to be collapsing around us, but a healthy democracy requires a healthy press. We all need to find a way of keeping the news and opinion business alive. We hope our way works and we hope other ways work.”

The end of Pajamas*, which included high-profile bloggers like Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds and Michelle “Hot Air” Malkin, is yet another sign that the online ad business in general is under pressure. But it may also indicate the network idea in general–cobble together a group of small properties that couldn’t sell ads on their own and sell them as one megasite–may be on its way out.

*Pajamas PR folk want me to spell out that Reynolds, Malkin and other Pajamas bloggers are still working with the company in varying capacities.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald