Jay Mariotti, a childlike former newspaperman and celebrated asshole, was once a reviled sports columnist. Then he left the media for a three-year "vacation." Now, he's back with his own website. His hilariously inept attempts at promoting it are sure to be its very best feature.
If you need any background on why Jay Mariotti is so widely reviled, please see here. (In short, he tends to be both mean and dumb.) But you have to love the spectacle of Jay Mariotti talking up his own product in the pages of Ad Age. What investor would not want to plow money into this venture?
Ad Age: In your opening post, you said it's difficult to make money off digital content. How will you do things differently?
Mr. Mariotti: A lot of sports sites are seeing traffic success but not really getting any ads. I rarely look at Deadspin because it's kind of a trashy thing, but when I do, I don't see the ads. They had a big splash with the Manti Te'o story but not the resulting advertising because they have a renegade reputation. When I meet with advertisers and a lot of them know me already from my time at ESPN, I think the revenue will come in a hurry.
Ad Age: What about a subscription model, Andrew Sullivan style?
Mr. Mariotti: I would rather not charge for anything but these are new decisions for a guy like me. You're taking a sports writer, a guy who has done nothing but write and talk sports for thirty years, and you're turning him into businessman. I need to take some business classes.
Jay goes on to explicitly say he is founding this site only in order to sell it to some big company for a pile of cash. Hahahaha. Jay, you sound like one hell of businessman, my friend, Mr. "I need to take some business classes." And you sound like one hell of an editorial wizard, when you write "At a time when corporate interests have swallowed much of sports journalism and left too much cooperative residue between leagues and mammoth media companies, it’s vital to have independent voices who aren’t stifled by institutional filters," while simultaneously criticizing Deadspin, which is the exactly the kind of site that you are vaguely gesturing at in that quote, except for the fact that they have criticized you.
Or when you criticize USA Today, "which has committed to a revamped sports division but also is facing a clock in which profits must be turned." That infernal profit-turning clock!
Investors, please send one million dollars to Jay Mariotti, c/o The Internet. He has a plan.