Staffers and free-lancers at two West Coast alt-weeklies are nervously awaiting whatever unpleasant news comes with the sale of those papers to local conglomerates. Like all of the once-mighty urban weekly papers, the SF Weekly and Seattle Weekly are struggling to survive in a time when it's not at all clear what these kind of publications are supposed to do when all of their one-time informational and advertising monopolies—music and movie listings, sex personals, roommate ads, alternative news, restaurant reviews, anti-Republican ranting—have moved online.
Gothamist, a metro website company, founded in 2003, now has 13 city-specific websites, which reach 2.7 million unique readers a month, according to Quantcast. For a long time, in my opinion, Gothamist was stubborn about growing as a business. Its publisher, Jake Dobkin, did much of the business himself, and didn't think the math worked out to have full-time ad salespeople. More recently, that math has apparently changed, and now the goal is to have as many ad salespeople as can support themselves. 16 million pageviews a month is, in the web business, a totally decent amount of inventory to sell. And for a larger media company that [...]
This morning, after what seemed to be a long meeting and discussion, the membership of the Village Voice union unanimously approved a new contract that was hashed out last night. The outrageous demands by the union included continuing the staff healthcare. Our congratulations to everyone involved.
Some people wait a year and then beat their tormentors silly in the parking lot in retaliation for dick jokes employed within professional contexts. But if you're as monied and powerful as Cablevision head honcho Jim Dolan, you can go the parking-lot ambush one better, and withhold your ad revenue from the media outlets that torment you — and if you're really steamed, you can get your cronies like the megapromoter Live Nation to join in on the act. The result: "In toto, a mediocre dick joke about a media acquisition has now cost [Village Voice Media] upwards of $1M in yearly advertising revenue." Um, yipes?