Gawker Media Sales Up 45% Through June

nick denton tbi sm

Last November, Gawker Media boss Nick Denton told everyone to start stocking up on canned beans and flashlight batteries: Ad spending would be down 30% to 40% this year, and “Publishers are sleepwalking into economic extinction.”

The good news: Denton’s Gawker Media didn’t have to deal with that at all. In fact, revenues are up 45% year-over-year for the first six months of 2009, Denton said today.

Denton: Last autumn I said media companies — including ours — should be preparing for a decline of up to 40% in advertising revenues over the economic cycle.

The plunge has already been pretty terrifying for a range of companies from Yahoo and IAC to the newspapers. But I was wrong in one respect: a few premium internet brands, Gawker’s among them, have withstood the advertising apocalypse.

Here is an updated version of the apocalyptic chart I published last year. The scale is removed but you can see that Gawker’s advertising growth continued pretty much uninterrupted: first-half revenues were up 45%. Sometimes there’s consolation to be found in congenital pessimism; I’d rather be wrong and thriving than right and dead.

Here’s the chart as projected last year:

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