Why do people take Marty Singer seriously? The cage-rattling, form-letter-rewriting Hollywood lawyer spews lawsuits like anxious starlets spew breakfast. Now, in his latest complaint, against Gawker, the New York Times refers to him as "the legendarily pugnacious Mr. Singer." The suit, according to Gawker (we have not read it, and as near as we can tell it has not been published online), asks for damages of $1 million-I know, seriously, what? A whole million dollars? You mean maybe six weeks of Gawker ad income? What a pitiful request!-for their publication of a video which depicted TV actors hanging out in states of undress. I have read and received [...]
It's been entertaining watching people go on about Ian Shapira v. Hamilton Nolan today. Shapira wrote a piece in the Washington Post about how, largely, he felt like Hamilton at Gawker had "ripped off" a previous Washington Post piece of his-by means of that great enemy of press freedom and profitability, something called "extensive quoting." Hamilton wrote a 439-word item, 227 words of which are blockquote from a Shapira story (226, say others), and 5 words of which are the hyperlink to the source of all the material. Gawker honcho Gabriel Snyder wrote a rather fabulous response today, if you can get the site to [...]
The Gawker blogger, who rose from the ranks of the advertising department and into editorial, will stick around through the end of July; he will then leave the very popular website a safe space free of gays for the first time in some years. Related! By our rough calculations, Lawson is the first person to actually quit a media job in the calendar year 2009.
The Wall Street Journal gave Gawker a statement today, about their columnist Mark Penn, whose firm uses his column there to get clients! "Obviously when you have a contributor, they use a column to market themselves. Clearly what was done is not something that we liked. But we're pretty sure that it's going to stop." I am… amused? Angered? Skeeved? No wait: unimpressed.
What we've seen in companies that have been successful through the last year-so we're excluding, say, the car companies and most of the media companies oh and real estate and physical goods, etc.-is they've both shed staff and, both independently and relatedly, increased their revenues. Interestingly, this graph from Gawker honcho Nick Denton is pretty darn similar to what it would look like if you graphed Goldman Sachs' expenses and revenues, with even some similar trending during the same quarters! In both these cases, on the micro-scale of Gawker Media, as a small company, and the macro-scale of a big one like Goldman Sachs, there's no decline in revenue [...]
There's two shocking things regarding this news item about how political operative and "pollster" Mark Penn's company sprang into action to pitch to new clients on the back of the topics mentioned in Penn's Wall Street Journal column. One: that it's been up for two hours and the Journal hasn't fired Penn yet. Two: is that it's been two hours and it only has 2446 pageviews. I guess Gawker is sort of working on the HBO model-like how HBO documentary films head Sheila Nevins is always explaining how "Cathouse" and "Real Sex" essentially pays for documentaries about Iraq and poor people and stuff. So: their no-sex sex tapes pay [...]
Really? Is "Ferris Bueller to Have No More Days Off, Ever" that much of a better headline (to accompany a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick and their new twins on Gawker) than the originally-published headline, "Rare Twin Foals Yielded from Successful Studding"? What behooves (HA, "hooves"!) a blog to make regular after-publication changes like this? (This happens as often as a few times a day.) Is it just because one can? It is one of the great and, yes, rather uninteresting mysteries of our modern times. I have lost interest already really. OH and also today! "Billionaire's Wife Valued Solely For Her Smarts, or Whatever" just [...]