Salon’s Gingras Puts Faith In E-Commerce, User-Gen; Paywalls, Not So Much

Richard Gingras, Salon CEO

Salon has been overhauling its site design since late summer, but the changes aren’t just cosmetic. Salon Media CEO Richard Gingras wants to draw more revenue and traffic by developing customized display ad units, bringing in more user-generated content, and putting more focus on e-commerce.

Until now, Salon has mostly just dabbled in e-commerce in the form of once-a-year holiday gift guides. Although he expects advertising to come back, Gingras concedes that marketers’ dollars can’t be relied upon as sole support. That’s why Salon is establishing a permanent online store on Black Friday, the start of the holiday shopping season. On top of that general e-commerce play, early next year Salon will launch a Food channel with a related online store.

By offering a fuller e-commerce service, Salon hopes to broaden its identity beyond its left-of-center political-news slant. “Salon is not just a content brand, it

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