Gawker is profitable on about $50 million a year in revenue, says former editorial director

Gawker Nick Denton at IgnitionBusiness InsiderJohnson called out Gawker boss Nick Denton

In a congratulatory comment on a post about Gawker’s unionization, former Gawker editorial director Joel Johnson decided to reveal a bit about Gawker Media’s financial state.

His post said Gawker is doing the following:

  • $US35 to $US45 million a year in ad revenue
  • Ad revenue growing 30% per year despite relatively flat traffic.
  • Affiliate fees from the likes of Amazon of about $US5 to $US10 million per year.
  • International licensing fees rounded out the revenue picture, adding another “couple of million.”
  • Approximately $US1 to $US2 million a quarter in net profit.

Johnson also shared that he presumed Gawker has spent $US10 to $US20 million alone on the development of Kinja — which he characterised as 75% “wasteful,” and something which Nick Denton was keen to equivocate about. He hit hard at Gawker’s lack of a business strategy when it came to Kinja.

“How much of the development cost of Kinja was wasted in pursuit of dead-end experiments or capricious strategy charges versus the work essential to maintain an online media company’s content management system?” he asked.

He didn’t spare Denton, calling him a “comically inept product visionary, manager, and technical mind” and a “coward.”

Denton responded after that, saying that revenue from traditional ad sources was flat, but ad revenue from lead generation and other “commerce” was up 60%. Denton also defended Kinja and said “the jury is still out” on it.

Gawker is the high-brow gossip sheet covering media, entertainment, politics and technology.

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