Once again, Nick Denton zigs where Jason Calacanis zags. Instead of shopping Gawker Media, Denton is teaming up with Yahoo for the blog network’s first multi-blog major distribution deal. Dozens of posts from Gawker’s five best-known blogs — Gawker, Wonkette, Gizmodo, Defamer and Lifehacker — will be published on Yahoo News starting today; the portal already publishes selections from the Huffington Post. Eventually, the other Gawker blogs will be included and the distribution will spread to other Yahoo sites. For instance, Defamer will show up on Yahoo Entertainment. Terms aren’t being disclosed but a lot of emphasis is placed on the amount of traffic Yahoo can drive back to Gawker Media.
In an interview, Scott Moore, head of news and finance for Yahoo, said the Gawker move is part of the strategy with Yahoo News to become “more blog aware and blogcentric.” He points out, “Five years ago, internet news was still considered new media as opposed to mainstream activity. Today, it’s clear for millions and millions, the internet is a primary source.” Yahoo wants to be at the forefront as the internet becomes the primary source for opinion and commentary. It’s not an exclusive deal, something Yahoo shies away from when it comes to licensing content. As for the finances, “It’s fair to say that both Nick and I looked at what we could do together that would benefit both. … Gawker as a blog network is very successful; what they needed is more distribution.” Yahoo gets Gawker’s content; Gawker gets access to tens of millions of Yahoo’s users.
Yahoo’s first blog deal with the Huffington Post has “been a phenomenal success for us. You’d have to ask Ariana; I think she’s pleased as well. … We’re driving substantial traffic to Huffington Post and getting a lot of page views.”
But is Yahoo ready for Gawker’s brand of blogging? “The internet is a very self-correcting medium. … Is it edgy and a little bit racy? Yeah. What’s wrong with that?”
Why not just buy Gawker? “For one thing, Nick wants to be independent. That’s important to him,” says Moore. Beyond that, “at this point, we’re not in the mode of acquiring blog content. We would rather work with as many as we can.” In fact, Yahoo wants to go broader and deeper, eventually working with smaller blogs “empowering people who don’t buy ink by the barrel.”
Related: VNU, Gawker Deal Translates Gizmodo Into Six Languages
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