Nick Denton, Gawker Media’s micro-mogul, usually has a nice line in online media business analysis. But here, alas, he disappoints [my italics]:
1. Get out of categories such as politics to which advertisers are averse.… media groups cannot afford in the current environment to fund their most noble missions; they should leave that to public-spirited non-profits such as Pro Publica. [Typical Denton starter — except, of course, that he loves the less profitable parts of his own micro-empire.]
2. Renegotiate vendor contracts. [They don’t teach you that at HBS]
3. Consolidate titles. Time-pressed media buyers are drawn to scale. … 91% of [Gawker Media’s] advertising revenues come from the top six remaining titles… [The old 91/33 rule]
4. Offshore more … [After all, there are lots of snarky young Romanians who could write Gawker copy with just Google streetview and Babelfish.]
5. Variable compensation. … [reduce] base pay for all highly-paid executives in exchange for a share in a profit-share pool … four-day weeks for writers willing to trade some income for more free time. [Part-time work?!]
6. More value for marketers. [Denton plugs his ad formats.]
Banality from the Marquis de Sard? Times really must be tough.