The recent staff changes at Salon, not to mention their bonkers-crazy political correspondents, made us wonder how things are holding up at the famously bi-coastal public company. So we took a little gander at some of its recent filings with the SEC. Yikes!
"Salon has been relying on cash infusions from related parties to fund operations. The related parties are primarily John Warnock, a Director of Salon, and William Hambrecht. William Hambrecht [who is worth $500 million] is the father of Salon's President and Chief Executive Officer" Elizabeth Hambrecht. Good hire! Warnock and Hambrecht also own a ton of Salon stock.
"Salon has historically lacked significant revenues and has a history of losses." Well, sure. Also, some fancy accounting firm did an audit that reports "substantial doubt about Salon's ability to continue as a going concern, citing issues such as the history of losses and absence of current profitability."
Also, everyone hates that darn Site Pass, except some geniuses over there who think it's going to save them: "As a result of analyzing the traffic patterns to Salon's Website, Salon believes that its Site Pass advertising model, which Salon credits as instrumental in increasing advertising revenues, and driving memberships to Salon Premium, inhibits growth in traffic to its Website." So: fewer visitors, but better bang per buck per visitor. (How Times Select!) Things looked up a bit in the last quarter, with advertising revenues at a "record" $2.8 million and a profit (!) of—drumroll, please—$200,000.
But possibly the best part of last year's Annual Report is: "Salon is under budgetary constraints to control expenditures. These constraints affect editorial staffing levels and the purchase of content from freelance writers." And: "Due to Salon's history of losses, Salon may experience difficulty in hiring and retaining highly skilled employees with appropriate qualifications. Salon may be unable to retain its current key employees or attract, integrate or retain other qualified employees in the future. If Salon does not succeed in attracting new personnel or retaining and motivating its current personnel, its business could be harmed."
We'll be looking forward to the 2006 report, which should be out by early summer. Anyway, it's no wonder they had to hire Joy Press to do two jobs instead of one. And maybe they're paying Glenn Greenwald in reais?