Wonkette Goes Solo

Ken Layne has announced that Wonkette has been cast out of the Nick Denton media empire and gone solo, along with a couple of other Denton sites you’ve never heard of. The rationale is complicated but, essentially, Gawker Media was having trouble selling ads on those sites and thinks there’s going to be another bursting of the Internet bubble.

Could be. The irony is that Wonkette will now be joining the BlogAds network, which OTB has been a part of since 2004, and sales there have been painfully slow. Henry Copeland and his team are the best in the business — hell, they invented the business — but it’s a down market despite the heat of the political season.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bithead says:

    Maybe it’s Cox and her like that isn’t selling?

    I mean, have you noticed a decline, James? I sure haven’t…

  2. James Joyner says:

    Ad revenue’s definitely down across the political blogs from the 2006 cycle. BlogAds is the most transparent of the networks, since you can easily track the traffic, ad sales, and pricing of hundreds of blogs. Sites that were selling dozens of ads are now selling fewer.

    I do think, however, that ads are selling for higher prices.

  3. Bithead says:

    Well, then your response still leaves open the question if some blogs are more affected than others. What I’m driving at is I’m wondering if there’s any takeaway for November to be had in this shift.

  4. James Joyner says:

    The BlogAds order page has the data broken down by pageviews, price, and ads sold. Some skewing, since comped ads could be included.

    From what I can tell, Denton’s decision makes sense: The entertainment blogs continue to do quite well while political blogs are underperforming their traffic.

  5. Bithead says:


    Underperforming their traffic….. (Drumming fingers.)

    This would seem to suggest the hitrates haven’t dropped by much if at all, just the clickthroughs have.

    Ill have to think about that one, but the first scenario that comes to mind to explain that one, is that the hits the sites are getting are increasingly narrow, and most are from readers who show up to a site every given day. They getting more hits, but those hits aren’t coming from new readers. (I may be wrong on the whole, but in my experience relatively new readers are the ones that tend to clickthrough the most)

    I’d give a lemon cookie to see the breakdowns on what are more affected, left to right, though.

    Either way, however, this does not speak to me of a longing for ‘change’ in the grass roots… merely a number of activists immersing themselves in the political events of the day, several times per day.