Thursday, Jan 18
Gawker Fires Mohney, Rehires Sicha
Gawker Media has fired Chris Mohney, the first-ever managing editor of its flagship, Gawker, six months into his tenure. Daily Intel, edited by former Gawker co-editor Jesse Oxfeld (and former mediabistro.com editor), has the scoop on his old digs:
Gawker Media, Nick Denton's swaggering blog network, yesterday fired Chris Mohney, the managing editor of its flagship site, Gawker, and will replace him with Choire Sicha [left], the New York Observer writer and editor who was solo editor of Gawker in 2003 and 2004.*
Daily Intel is quick to point out Gawker's stagnant traffic which had "doubled in the prior year" as the reason for Mohney's ousting, and Sicha's unhappiness at the Observer for his jump.
UPDATE: Mohney is moving to an as-yet-unannounced post within Gawker Media in the short term, says Eat The Press.
*eg: typical Sicha-era Gawker fare:
For the first time ever today on Craigslist Casual Encounters, "snow" referring to actual snow outranks "snow" meaning "I want a skanky girl to come over and do bad coke with me on my 80s coffee table."
Not Everyone Loves the Snow [New Yorkish]
Craigslist search: Snow [Craigslist]
via Financial Express, Bangladesh:
Gawker shuffles its editors, again, amid increased competition for gossip
Gawker Media is shuffling the management of its flagship Gawker blog for the fifth time in four years, as the site faces increased competition from upstart gossip sites.
Chris Mohney is leaving the top editorial post at the blog after just six months on the job, and is being replaced by Choire Sicha, a senior editor at New York Observer who ran Gawker in its early days.
"We're a media organisation - people move around," said Nick Denton, publisher of New York-based Gawker Media. He said traffic at the site wasn't a factor in his decision to replace Mr. Mohney, and downplayed the significance of the move. "Gawker Media is increasingly like a mainstream media company, where writers are reassigned, or leave the company, stay in the orbit and return, later."
Mr. Denton said Mr. Mohney wasn't fired, and has been offered another job at Gawker Media. Of Mr. Sicha's return, Mr. Denton added, "We've been trying to get Choire back to a Gawker title since, well, since he left us."
Mr. Denton's closely held blog empire, which includes the popular gadget blog Gizmodo and the adult site Fleshbot, is increasingly under assault from competitors and the shifting loyalties of blog readers.
[insert, via http://www.nickdenton.org/]
wednesday, november 19
I'm scouting for editorial talent. Particularly people who can write wittily about travel and furniture. If you have a blog on either subject, or know of a good writer, email me. Rather than me tell you how I'd like to approach the categories, I'd rather hear your ideas: what you think is missing. Correspondence to nick at gawker.]
Although traffic to Gawker has grown sharply since the site's launch in December 2002, it has been stagnant over most of the past year, according to market research firm Nielsen/NetRatings. The site drew 642,000 unique visitors in December 2005, and jumped to 942,000 in January 2006. But traffic held steady for most of the year, finishing December 2006 at one million.
By comparison, Time Warner Inc.'s TMZ.com gossip site saw year-over-year traffic more than triple in December 2006 to 8.9 million, Nielsen said, with steady gains throughout the year. Meanwhile, PerezHilton.com had 2.6 million unique users at the end of 2006, up sixfold from January 2006, when Nielsen began tracking the site.
TMZ and PerezHilton focus on Hollywood, while Gawker's home turf is New York media, though it gives ample attention to pop culture. Defamer, a Gawker Media blog that launched in 2004 and focuses on West Coast celebrity gossip, has more traffic than its older sibling, according to Nielsen: In December 2006, it had 1.4 million unique visitors, up 57% from a year earlier.
Mr. Denton said the Nielsen report "doesn't necessarily tally" with internal Gawker stats, and said the site's traffic is on track to reach a record level this month.
Before taking over at Gawker, Mr. Mohney, 35 years old, wrote for the travel blog Gridskipper, also published by Gawker Media. He first captured Mr. Denton's attention by blogging about Gawker and its staffers on a short-lived site titled Gawkerist. Of his tenure at Gawker, he said, "I enjoyed it quite a bit." He declined to discuss the new job he was offered with Gawker Media, and said he hasn't decided whether to take it.
Mr. Mohney's successor, Mr. Sicha, 32, edited Gawker from August 2003 to August 2004, when he was promoted to editorial director of all Gawker Media blogs. He left in May 2005 for the New York Observer.
The appointment of Mr. Sicha has drawn praise from several bloggers, including former Gawker editors. "Almost everyone agrees that the Choire-era Gawker was a golden era at Gawker. He's a brilliant writer and a brilliant editor," said Jesse Oxfeld, a former Gawker editor who was replaced during the shuffling that brought in Mr. Mohney. Mr. Oxfeld now edits a blog for New York Magazine that competes with Gawker.
The Gawker editor with the longest tenure thus far is Jessica Coen, who was at the site from August 2004 to September 2006. "It's actually a very difficult job," said Ms. Coen, who is now deputy online editor at Vanity Fair. "It does take over your life to a certain extent. You may feel relatively autonomous, but ultimately you are an employee."
Wall Street Journal