28-year-old New York Observer owner Jared Kushner has acquired IAC’s email list for rich people, Very Short List, Valleywag reports. He’s fired VSL’s current staff, too. Here’s an email one of those staffers sent Valleywag:
Timeline: We get a bunch of emails Thursday morning. At 10AM, the GM said he might have news (at 6PM, that news would finally be delivered). Someone else said that the deal had already gone through, and that it was finally over. And yet someone else said that we still had assignments for the next week, so it would stretch for another week. And then we heard that the person who was supposed to take over at the NYO had been fired the week before in their bloodbath. So nobody knew anything. Thursday night, the news came through. Our last day was Friday, after SIX WEEKS of being told we were going to be laid off. The worst part: some of us were on the phone with the NYO’s people on Friday, trying to teach them how to do our jobs.
IAC (IACI) chairman Barry Diller launched the Very Short List in 2007. The idea was to replicate the success former AOL exec Bob Pittman has had with his lists, Thrillist and Daily Candy.
Because the only people who will see them are self-selecting subscribers of a specific demographic, Thrillist and Daily Candy ads can reach very high CPMs. A video ad on email-list-for-dudes Thrillist can fetch a $275 CPM.
IAC never got there with the Very Short List. A source tells Valleywag that VSL has 200,000 subscribers, but only 40,000 of them open the email. Valleywag says VSL’s most frequent advertiser is a blog run by VSL editor Kurt Anderson’s friends.