Looks like Gawker’s self-consolidation is paying off. (So far.) Nick Denton recently folded Defamer and Valleywag—Hollywood and Silicon Valley gossip sites, respectively—into Gawker’s media/gossip umbrella site. And, as the Journal’s Elizabeth Holmes reports today, with the broader reach afforded by the subsidiary sites’ inclusion, “traffic on Gawker.com has risen sharply to 821,000 unique visits in January from 583,000 in November, according to comScore.”
That doesn’t mean that Dentonesque brand consolidation is a catch-all for Web publishing, though, or even that it will prove lucrative for Gawker in the long term. It’s a tricky balancing act: on the one hand, beefing up an umbrella brand—which is to say, ostensibly, bringing more traffic to it—makes that site more attractive to advertisers. On the other, though, you risk brand fragmentation. The broader cost/benefit ratio of consolidation—for Gawker and for others who are experimenting with it—remains to be seen.
But for now, ostensibly, Denton’s membership in the Rihanna school of media ownership is paying off: now that it’s raining more than ever…yep, it’s good to be under Nick’s umbrella.Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.