Think things are bad in the media business? You ain't seen nothin' yet. That's the message Nick Denton, the owner of Gawker Media, an online publisher whose properties include this website, lays out in a new essay now published on his personal blog. (A draft I saw was headlined "Publishers Are Sleeping Their Way to Extinction"; he has now headlined it "A 2009 Internet Media Plan." Denton never was much good at headlines.) Analysts project a single-digit increase in online advertising in 2009; we should be so lucky, according to Denton, who writes that a 30 to 40 percent decline in all advertising spending, online and off, next year — a scenario supported by analyses of economic recessions from Sweden to Indonesia. His conclusion? "Publishers should be planning for the worst, now." Here's what Denton's cost-cutting recommendations could mean for his own company.Get out of categories such as politics to which advertisers are averse. No more election coverage on Gawker! Renegotiate vendor contracts. So much for the bar bill at Joey & Eddie's. Consolidate titles. I will soon be writing Valleywag as a column for Gizmodo or Gawker, whichever will take me. Gabriel Snyder is a lovely young man. As is Jason Chen. I can't decide which one is more handsome and brilliant, really. Offshore more. And I will be writing said column from a newly affordable Iceland. Variable compensation. For less. More value for marketers. With more ads on it.
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