More NewsNick Denton Finds a New Nemesis

Nick Denton Finds a New Nemesis

Nick Denton understands better than anyone the traffic value of a little nasty

denton.jpgbattelle-j.jpg

Nick Denton understands better than anyone the traffic value of a little nasty. So it’s good news for Gawker Media’s site stats, as well as for the tech industry’s gossip mongers, that he’s returned to the keyboard – this time to helm Silcon Valley gossip rag ValleyWag.

His first assault is on John Battelle’s FM Publishing. Denton says Fark.com, pioneering news and humor aggregator, has bailed on the branded network in favor of a sweeter deal with Maxim. We’re also told Digg is about to jump ship, which if true would deal a credibility blow to Battelle, in whose cap Digg is the second biggest feather (the first being flagship property BoingBoing).

Battelle responds to the charge here and lets his irritation show. It’s certainly a tad gauche for Denton to kick off with this item, since Battelle’s high-touch ad network is Denton’s most direct competitor. But it’s also in character, since Gawker’s style has always derived from tabloids — and who slings competitive mud better than The Post and Daily News? Their rivalry is crude and unprofessional, but they get away with it because it’s fun. The Denton v. Calacanis years were always a good time for reporters. Before AOL acquired Weblogs Inc., the two blasted each other on a weekly basis. Calacanis would assert Denton’s network is 90 percent porn, and Denton would say Calacanis’s sites are, and I quote, “as memorable as Burger King franchises.” (There’s similar promise in the current rivalry between Ze Frank and RocketBoom’s Drew Baron, but that’s another story for another time.)

In the short term, Denton’s likely to generate more heat from advertisers by moving into the editor’s seat. He used to tell me ValleyWag and Fleshbot had always worked against his business, and he worries that big advertisers shy of his crass properties will suddenly yank their spend out of brand adjacency concerns or anger at something published on Gawker. As editor AND publisher, invoking the church/state clause won’t be as easy for Denton as it once was.

update: Exhibit B
update 2: Exhibit C

Related Articles

GDPR: The role of technology in data compliance

Data & Analytics GDPR: The role of technology in data compliance

3w Clark Boyd
What companies can learn from the We-Vibe lawsuit about the Internet of Things

Legal & Regulatory What companies can learn from the We-Vibe lawsuit about the Internet of Things

8m Al Roberts
Has advertising arrived on Google Home?

Media Has advertising arrived on Google Home?

8m Al Roberts
Is Twitter slowly dying?

More News Is Twitter slowly dying?

9m Al Roberts
FedEx launches fulfillment service to take on Amazon

Ecommerce FedEx launches fulfillment service to take on Amazon

9m Al Roberts
Target is the top retail digital marketer, so why is it struggling?

Ecommerce Target is the top retail digital marketer, so why is it struggling?

8m Al Roberts
YouTube is "on pace to eclipse TV" thanks to savvy algorithm use

More News YouTube is "on pace to eclipse TV" thanks to savvy algorithm use

9m Al Roberts
YouTube is getting rid of 30-second unskippable pre-roll ads

Ad Industry Metrics YouTube is getting rid of 30-second unskippable pre-roll ads

9m Al Roberts