Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Say Goodbye to Hollywood: Gawker Valleywags Defamer

nick-dentonHere’s what should be the last step in Nick Denton’s slimdown of his Gawker Media empire: The blog network is taking its LA-based Defamer site and rolling it up under its central Gawker title. The site’s existing writers will leave, to be replaced by other Gawker writers and a new hire.

This is the second time Denton has folded up one of his sites and tucked it into his Gawker flagship–last fall he did the same thing with Valleywag, his Silicon Valley gossip title.

Given that Denton had previously put Defamer up for sale, it’s not a stretch to conclude that there wasn’t a ravenous appetite for a standalone Hollywood gossip site with decent if declining traffic (Quantcast puts Defamer’s monthly unique visitors at one million. I had previously looked at Gawker Media’s own stat page and concluded that February traffic was down from a year ago, but Denton points out that February isn’t over yet–which means that this week’s Oscar traffic should boost those numbers a bit).

Denton’s spin: “Ultimately, the brand was worth more to us–as a section of the Gawker site.” Gawker Media is now down to nine sites, from a high of 15.

The big picture: Web publishers are increasingly trying to aggregate eyeballs at fewer sites, in order to cater to marketers who want to buy one title instead of spreading their dollars around at smaller pubs.

Denton’s post explaining the move is here. Money quote: “Fortunately, the three Defamer writers have decent employment prospects even amid the great media die-off–a testament to their talents.”

And here’s the take from one of the writers, Seth Abramovitch, who’s still working at the site for a week. Abramovitch and his soon-to-be former co-workers will be liveblogging the Oscars tonight.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work