Tag

Gawker Media

Browsing

What: Univision has won the auction for Gawker Media after placing a winning bid of US$135 million. The offer includes all seven of Gawker Media’s sites, including Gawker.com.
Why it matters: This is the first acquisition of a major digital media property by Univision, perhaps together with the purchase of a controlling stake in The Onion earlier this year. Univision is  the largest Hispanic targeted media company which until a few years ago only catered to Spanish-dominant Hispanics. Gawker is also one of the first acquisitions  that does not have a purely multicultural profile. Univision is trying to sell its stock in a public offering (IPO) in a market where traditional broadcasters have lost value. By acquiring Gawker, Univision is trying to positively impact the growth prospects for the company.

U4xpomT6_400x400 zBK6duWc_400x400Univision has won the auction for Gawker Media after placing a winning bid of US$135 million for the bankrupt blog network, according to a person familiar with the deal. The offer includes all seven of Gawker Media’s sites, including Gawker.com
“We have completed the bid process and we anticipate the court finalizing the order on August 18th. We are not commenting further at this point,” a spokeswoman at Univision tells Portada.

Gawker had declared bankruptcy after losing a US$140 million lawsuit to former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel. A federal bankruptcy court judge will approve the final sale Thursday.When it is final, the judgment funds will be set aside while Gawker appeals its court case; eventually the money will go to the side that wins. Ziff Davis,which has originally offered US$90 million, and Univision were the only two bidders for Gawker.

CHECK OUT:
Univision asks FCC to Allow Televisa to Increase its Stake in Univision
Univision Buys Fusion Stake from ABC, but will it get it to work?

“Gawker Media Group has agreed this evening to sell our business and popular brands to Univision, one of America’s largest media companies that is rapidly assembling the leading digital media group for millennial and multicultural audiences. I am pleased that our employees are protected and will continue their work under new ownership — disentangled from the legal campaign against the company. We could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism,” said Gawker Media owner Nick Denton in a statement.

Fusion Media Group

Univision, which until recently was best known as a Spanish-language TV network, has been expanding its digital reach by growing and acquiring a collection of brands, including  its interests in Fusion and El Rey as well as The Root, The Onion, A.V. Club, Clickhole, Starwipe, Flama, Univision Digital and Univision Music. All these assets are now part of The Fusion Media Group (FMG).  It is likely that Gawker will become a part of Fusion Media Group.  Univision is building a diversified media company in The Fusion Media Group, and Gawker Media’s brands speak to a younger, tech-savvy audience.

WATCH Gawker’s Nick Denton speak at the 2013 edition of the Portada LatAm Summit (PortadaLat).

Join us at PORTADA Mexico!

What: Gawker Media is introducing a private ad exchange.
Why it matters: Gawker, particularly its Founder Nick Denton,  has been playing down the ad-tech game for many years. Gawker’s U-Turn with the decision to introduce a private ad exchange highlights the trend of many major publishers creating ad-exchanges and adopting the latest advertising technologies.

Nick Denton, CEO and Founder, Gawker Media
Nick Denton, CEO and Founder, Gawker Media

Gawker, the New York City based online media company and blog network is working on a private ad exchange to complement the efforts of its sales staff.  Gawker Founder and CEO Nick Denton has been frequently cited for his disregard for ad networks and advertising technology. “We threw out the ad networks more than half a decade ago,” Denton told Portada in an interview earlier this year. “They cannibalize direct sales and condemn a publisher to existence on the economic margins”, he added. While Gawker now is not embracing Ad-Networks it is clearly warming up to modern advertising technology system. Digiday reports, that Gawker has quietly opened up a private marketplace of its own in recent weeks as part of what it calls a “strategy shift.” Previously, Gawker said advertisers could only buy inventory directly from one of its salespeople. Select clients will now be able to bid for impressions on the site on a real-time basis, using demand-side platforms and agency trading desks.“It’s rather a big step for us after years of playing down the ad tech game,” admitted Gawker Media’s business development lead, Erin Pettigrew. The decision was driven by a need “to keep pace with the fast-automating display buying market,” she explained.

The company’s sales strategy is now to have its salespeople focused on selling its custom programs through its Studio@Gawker unit, and to let technology handle the selling of its standardized display inventory.“We expect our advertising to bifurcate between the branded content produced by Studio@Gawker that we sell directly and efficient, targeted display media sold via a private exchange,” Pettigrew said.

Media buyers are becoming less interested in dealing with salespeople and faxing insertion orders, and want technology to do the heavy lifting.

Not the first Media property to shift gears

Earlier this year, Turner said it refused to sell through exchanges but last month it opened a private exchange in partnership with Rubicon. News Corp is working on a global private exchange and so are many other major players. The main reason behind this activity is that media buyers are becoming less interested in dealing with salespeople and faxing insertion orders, and want technology to do the heavy lifting.

What: Gawker Media’s Kinja blogging platform now welcomes not only readers, but also publishers, and offers interesting tools for content curation.
Why is it important: The blogging experience is regaining strength. With tools like the ones being currently developed by Gawker, users will have the ability to curate content through their own lens. This is interesting enough for other communities to follow their lead.

In the interest of enhancing an improved “information discovery”, Nick Denton‘s Gawker Media (publisher of popular sites including Gizmodo) launched its Kinja ad-free, digital ecosystem last January, a publishing platform designed to make  stories by breaking down the lines between the traditional roles of content creators and consumers.

In the past days, Gawker Media announced is welcoming more than just readers into its Kinja community. Now, publishers can sign up and distribute content on the open commenting and blogging platform.

Lauren Bertolini, community development manager at Gakwer, said that “any user can come in and create a blog and be in publishing. Everybody gets access to the same tools we have. What we have been rolling out [recently] is the ability for someone to come in and create a blog, add their own branding and have total control over the content they publish. They can even moderate their own discussions.”

Text annotation, for instance, is one of the newest features, one that is being tested on a select number of blogs. Users will be able to comment on specific text excerpts, rather than having to cite or summarize at the bottom of the page.

Several other tools and features are either in beta or under development. For instance, testing is underway to allow users to view discussions from a user’s perspective rather than the default author’s perspective. So instead of seeing what the author/moderator has responded to or starred, you could follow a specific commenter-whether it’s a friend or someone else from within the Kinja network. The idea is to be able to filter the discussions in various ways to encourage engagement and an optimal user experience.

As for publishers, Kinja is much more than just another distribution portal, because community engagement is one of its pillars. Because content is published on the same platform as Gawker and all of its verticals, it can be curated and amplified anywhere within the network. Content still belongs to the authors.

According to Bertolini, “a few dozen” publishers are on Kinja, and some of them, like Playboy, Road & Track and Random House, are working closely with Gawker to optimize their presence.

Bertolini says that the ability to curate content is a benefit to Gawker’s verticals, but she also attests that the value for other publishers is in the conversations happening on Kinja.

Source: Folio.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUqLwR7Yqbg]

Nick Denton, CEO and Founder of Gawker Media, was one of the main highlights during the first day of the Portada Latam Summit in Miami.

The web entrepreneur, known for pushing boundaries and for his constant clashes with so-called “conventional media,”  came across as a charming, bright and thoughtful observer of the digital media space. During an on stage interview conducted by Laura Martinez, Portada’s Senior Correspondent, Denton provided details about the recent launch of the Spanish-language version of Gizmodo, and explained the economics of the digital advertising and media space.

“We can become viable with a two-person, full- time staff by using our Kinja discussion platform, content from Gizmodo in English and a team of freelancers,” he noted.  “We can become profitable very quickly compared to a traditional media company, which needs to hire dozens of journalists, and may need up to 5-10 years to be profitable,” Denton noted. He also said that blogs and content about gadgets are among the most profitable online publishing segments.

Denton cited Gawker’s proprietary Kinja Discussion Technology as one of the main factors behind Gawker’s overall success. “Kinja helped us to establish a viable and independent stand alone media company with the best in modern discussion and blog technology.

Beyond Banner Advertising 

Another factor for Gawker’s success are its creative solutions for advertisers, that go beyond banner advertising. “We provide solutions for marketers to have meaningful conversations with our audience.” As an example he cited a State Farm campaign that had State Farm’ financial experts answering questions from the Gawker audience.

The Kinja commenting system has also allowed Denton and his team of over 100 writers at Gawker Media to provide a suitable platform for advertisers, PR firms and brand marketers to interact directly with a story, a writer and the top commenters. This, Denton says, is a great way to monetize your content and avoid the middle man (i.e. ad networks.)

In the end, Denton said, everything boils down to one thing. Good stories. Good content. “If you have great content, readers are going to come; and advertisers will want to work with you.”

dentonNick Denton is the founder of Gawker Media. Gawker Media is the publisher of the eponymous Gawker and gadget sensation Gizmodo. The influential media group now produces eight original brands with a collective audience of over 40 million global readers.

Before this, Nick founded two internet ventures in the late 1990s: Moreover Technologies, the news search provider, acquired by Verisign; and First Tuesday. Nick — who is half-Hungarian — began his media career as a reporter for the Economist and the Financial Times during the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. While the FT’s investment banking correspondent he co-wrote All That Glitters, the account of the rogue trader who brought down Barings Bank.

Interview with Nick Denton

Portada: What would you advise a young professional who wants to be a digital media entrepreneur?

Nick Denton: I’d advise a young professional to be something else before “digital media entrepreneur.”Be a gossip, a gadget obsessive, a retailer of baby clothes, anything really. Being a digital media entrepreneur alone is like being into the feel of paper, it’s a characteristic, not a profession. Most entrepreneurs won’t make as much money as they would have with day jobs in banking or law. So they’d better have some purpose other than merely success in business.

Portada: And for those who are already involved in this industry, what is your view of programmatic trading and ad-networks as a source of revenue for digital publishers? Do they bring in enough revenue to sustain a digital media property?

Nick Denton: Real-time ad exchanges can help in monetizing traffic spikes — something that would be useful when one of our sites has a story like the Manti Teo girlfriend hoax or the discovery of the iPhone prototype. But we threw out the ad networks more than half a decade ago. They cannibalize direct sales and condemn a publisher to existence on the economic margins.

Portada: Is native advertising/ content marketing really the way to go for digital media properties?

Nick Denton: Native advertising is usually just advertorial or sponsored content, repackaged to secure a little attention from the ad trades and media buyers. For advertising to be truly native in an interactive medium, it should be interactive. And I don’t mean that the marketer asks some empty question — what do you think? — and then ignores the answer. New discussion systems such as Branch and Gawker’s Kinja give marketers as well as sources the opportunity to engage intelligently with journalists and readers. That’s the only variety of online marketing that I’d describe as truly native.

Portada: Did you ever think to complement your digital offerings with print or broadcast?

Nick Denton: No. What’s our expertise? Not the production of original video. Or coverage of tedious political ritual. We provide curation and discussion of that video and political events. And in that process we may popularize a TV show or move a story forward. But that’s a by-product of what we do, not the central purpose.

Portada: Regarding your Latin American and US  Hispanic ambitions, how is your venture progressing?

Nick Denton: The momentum is gathering. April uniques fores.gizmodo.com were — off a low base — 50% above March. That’s how this starts. And the Kinja discussion platform will allow Hispanic technology influencers to contribute to the stories — rather than just consuming them passively. It’s discussion environments that will prove key in markets which don’t as yet support large paid local-language editorial staffs.

Learn more about crucial strategies from advertising and media luminaries targeting Latin American and Hispanic audiences. Book now for our Latam Advertising and Media Summit, a required event for any marketing professional.

Nick Denton, founder and owner of Gawker Media, the publisher of popular sites including Gizmodo, has very interesting views about the  digital advertising and media industry.  We conducted the below interview via IM chat with him. Denton will be one of the main speakers at Portada’s upcoming Latin American Advertising and Media Summit on June 4-5 in Miami.

Portada: What is your view of programmatic trading and ad-networks as a source of revenue for digital publishers? Do they bring in enough revenue to sustain a digital media property?
Nick Denton, CEO and Founder, Gawker Media: Real-time ad exchanges can help in monetizing traffic spikes — something that would be useful when one of our sites has a story like the Manti Teo girlfriend hoax or the discovery of the iPhone prototype. But we threw out the ad networks more than half a decade ago. They cannibalize direct sales and condemn a publisher to existence on the economic margins.”

Is native advertising/ content marketing really the way to go for digital media properties?
Nick Denton:”Native advertising is usually just advertorial or sponsored content, repackaged to secure a little dentonattention from the ad trades and media buyers. For advertising to be truly native in an interactive medium, it should be interactive. And I don’t mean that the marketer asks some empty question — what do you think? — and then ignores the answer. New discussion systems such as Branch and Gawker’s Kinja give marketers as well as sources the opportunity to engage intelligently with journalists and readers. That’s the only variety of online marketing that I’d describe as truly native.”

Did you ever think to complement your digital offerings with print or broadcast?
Nick Denton:“No. What’s our expertise? Not the production of original video. Or coverage of tedious political ritual. We provide curation and discussion of that video and political events. And in that process we may popularize a TV show or move a story forward. But that’s a by-product of what we do, not the central purpose.”

Regarding your Latin American and US Hispanic ambitions, how is your venture moving forward?
Nick Denton: “The momentum is gathering. April uniques for es.gizmodo.com were — off a low base — 50% above March. That’s how this starts. And the Kinja discussion platform will allow Hispanic technology influencers to contribute to the stories — rather than just consuming them passively. It’s discussion environments that will prove key in markets which don’t as yet support large paid local-language editorial staffs.”

What would you advise a young professional who wants to be a digital media entrepreneur?
Nick Denton:“I’d advise a young professional to be something else before  digital media entrepreneur.  Be a gossip, a gadget obsessive, a retailer of baby clothes, anything really. Being a digital media entrepreneur alone is like being into the feel of paper, it’s a characteristic, not a profession. Most entrepreneurs won’t make as much money as they would have with day jobs in banking or law. So they’d better have some purpose other than merely success in business.”

Are journalists, bloggers and content marketers writing for search engines or for their audiences? Is it possible to do both?  The digital Age has brought the “illness” of SEOitis. SEOitis is defined as the obsession over search engine results. Gawker CEO and owner  Nick Denton recently published   a memo in which he announces that  Gawker is going to keep its headlines below 70 characters because of the fact that  Google and others search engines truncate headlines at 70 characters. Let’s see how he explains his decision.

Memo (“Boss Writes Memo”)

denton

“Our wordy headlines are a growing disadvantage. That’s why from tomorrow we’re going to warn you in the Kinja editor to keep your headlines below 70 characters — and we’re going to only display 70 characters on the front page even if you go longer.

Why this drastic measure? Google and others truncate headlines at 70 characters. On the Manti Teo story, Deadspin’s scoop fell down the Google search results, overtaken by copycat stories with simpler headlines.

Deadspin’s headline was 118 characters. Vital information — “hoax” — was one of the words that was cut off. Our headline was less intelligible — and less clickworthy — than others. And Google demotes search results that don’t get clicked on.

Full size
Facebook has recently introduced a similar limitation. We may not like this tyranny of the search and social algorithms. It might seem like an oppressive constraint: geeks from outside the company giving editorial orders.

But search and social media are the two main sources of new visitors to our sites. That’s an inescapable reality. A majority of our headlines are already below the 70-character limit. Many others could do with a bit of tightening. And it still leaves plenty of room for personality and creativity.

We’re making a series of other changes in the default Kinja display in order to increase the density of information and the number of links available to readers — especially if they’re on small screens.

You can see the new tighter front page template here:

http://io9.com/latest?latestng=on

* Latest view intros are trimmed to ~330 characters (the height of the 300px image). So if you want your intro to display cleanly, make sure your first paragraph doesn’t run on too long.
* Smaller recommend and discuss buttons on the front page
* Discuss button simply links to permalink page now, you can’t reply from the front page
* Adjacent blips won’t get separator lines which helps to condense them
* Later: improved splash design with more images displayed using less vertical space, as in the example below..

You will have the opportunity to ask Nick Denton questions on the above at Portada´s LatAm Summit. Make sure to get your ticket. Early bird registration expires this Friday April 19.  Portada’s 2013 Latam Advertising and Media Summit will take place on June 4th and 5th, 2013, in the just renovated Intercontinental Hotel in Miami.