If you’re like me and tend to think of places like The New York Times and The New Yorker and Gawker and Huffington Post when someone says “media” to you, rather than AOL or Yahoo! or Google, then this big purchase looks like even less of a “bet on news” than it does to most people actually in the business. The bet here is that a site can attract enough readers on a small enough budget that advertising will bring in significant profits without having to charge readers for reading. And at the moment, plenty of people think that is a long-odds bet already. It probably only really happens at the low and high end of the scale, for now, that kind of monetization.

(h/t Jay Rosen)

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.