Abrams Media, which publishes Mediaite and a handful of other news aggregation websites, will launch three additional sites and turn a profit at the beginning of next year, said the company’s founder, Dan Abrams, speaking Wednesday afternoon at an Advertising Week panel about the evolution of digital media.”My business will be profitable in January or February,” said Abrams, responding to a sharp critique of news aggregators and new media in general from NPR’s “On the Media” host, Bob Garfield.
“To suggest that digital media as a whole isn’t going to be profitable is ridiculous,” said Abrams. “If you’re doing good content and you’ve got devoted communities of people coming to your site, you’re not only going to be successful, but profitable. I’m not doing this because it’s a vanity project, I’m doing it because we’re making a profit.”
Abrams also said he welcomes portal sites like Yahoo aggregating the content his sites produce. (Yahoo executive Hilary Schneider was also on the panel.)
“We love the idea of having someone distribute our content, which is exactly what Yahoo does,” said Abrams. “In the old media model, there would be 20 people covering the same flood. I don’t think that’s necessary for the success of journalism moving forward.”
Garfield fired back.
“If three-paragraph distillations of other people’s writing is your idea of content, god bless you. Then everyone’s gonna do well and eight professionals will be doing real journalism while there’s still a little cash in the pipeline,” he said. “That’s not quality content. Quality content is content that matters, not what most entertains; not the juiciest tidbit about Justin Bieber.”
Garfield, who admitted he’s a bit of a media dinosaur, summed up his feelings about the future of journalism at the beginning of the panel: “We’re all f**ked!”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.