The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Coming Implosion of Salon.com

Posted on | July 10, 2012 | 19 Comments

Iowahawk today pointed out the omens that Alex Pareene’s current employer is unlikely to survive another year:

In a sign that Salon is very close to being shuttered, the company “lost” its CEO and CFO recently. . . . At the end of the final quarter of 2011, Salon had $149,000 in the bank against short-term liabilities that included $12.7 million in loans. During the same quarter, Salon lost $997,000 on revenue of $1.03 million.

This is just further confirmation of what I wrote in April:

Salon is basically the cockroach of Web ‘zines. Begun in the age of dial-up modems, it has survived the dot-com bubble, the rise of blogs and social networking, etc. While it has survived, however, no one can say that Salon has thrived. It spent a dozen years as a Slate wannabe before trying to re-invent itself as a weak imitation of HuffPo or something.
No one knows how much money Salon has lost since 1995, although it was estimated last year that its annual operating loss was $1.5 million. So, cumulative losses by now are probably somewhere between $20 million and a metric buttload.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that “investors” in such an enterprise don’t care how much money they lose, but are simply taking a tax write-off to support left-wing journalism. At some point, then, the calculation is more about political utility than about revenue potential.

OK, so in a oprogressive online media environment now crowded with HuffPo, Daily Kos, TPM, Think Progress, etc., where is the political utility of a maintaining a persistent loser like Salon? Where is the suggestion that Salon is having any meaningful impact? Or is it possible that Salon’s funders consider it their patriotic duty to provide an outlet for Glenn Greenwald’s unique brand of anti-patriotism?

A fool and his money are soon parted, and fools have wasted more money on less viable media entities. But why bring Current TV into this?

UPDATE (Smitty): Welcome, Instapundit readers. Please enjoy a chuckle at the expense of that Bolshevik blowhard Bob Beckel.

UPDATE II (RSM): Thanks to the commenter who points out that last month Salon indicated it was trying to sell The Well (Well.com):

“As other online communities and social networks emerged over the years, The Well’s subscriber base dwindled to 2,693, which did not bear financial promise.”

They never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

 


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Comments

  • http://bacontime.wordpress.com/ Matthew W

    Soros to the rescue???
    But then why would it matter?
    Salon has been a complete non factor for a decade.
     

  • Quartermaster

    Several sources have predicted Salon’s demise in the past, but it keeps going for some reason. Faux conservative David Horowitz used to write a column for them. Now Greenwald is the most prominent of the bunch and his stuff is mostly ridiculous.

    Iowahawk thinks it goes belly up in 2013. If Obama loses I think it goes under before the end of the year. If he wins, perhaps the zombie will stagger into 2014.

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  • Steveo

    i love the brevity and succinctness of this post. i personally believe the satire/mockery level is much greater when the liberal establishment is merely tossed aside in a great encompassing paragraph than a drawn out narrative

  • Geoff Matthews

    Obama losing may be the best possible thing for Salon.  Having something wail against draws more eyeballs than cheer leading.

  • http://twitter.com/opinador Opinador Compulsivo

    Salon Group also fired everyone at The Well, one of the oldest comunities in the net, and it’s looking for a buyer.

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/the-well-a-pioneering-online-community-is-for-sale-again/ 

    Key quote :

    The Well is now a subscribers-only discussion community, with membership plans that run between $100 and $150 for an annual subscription, according to its Web site. That’s a steep price to pay on today’s Internet, no matter how literate the online discussion is. 

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  • tsotha

     Agreed.  There was nothing more corrosive for conservative media than having Bush in office.  You’re limited in your ability to ridicule your political opponents, and you end up having to defend things that are indefensible because you think things will be worse if someone from the other party is elected.

    Well, and things are worse, so that part was right.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    I only know Salon is still around because every now and then Joan Walsh says something so stupid that people notice and reproduce it, and that is the limit of their impact on the national and global discussions.  It doesn’t matter a bit whether they fold or continue.  It means NOTHING.

    Who cares if a few leftist millionaires want to sink more of their money – mostly earned through capitalism or inherited from capitalists – into Salon or Newsweek or whatever leftist media front is next faced with bankruptcy?  It’s money that would be given to promote lefty causes in some way or form:  I’m happy it isn’t being spent more effectively!

    As to the idea of $100 – $150 annually to be on a discussion board, in effect?  Anyone who would pay it is too stupid for me to waste my time upon, it’s a flashing warning sign.

    Maybe Salon went to The Well too often?

  • Rebel

    I don’t know it that’s a typo or that you coined a very interesting word:

    oprogressive = progressive + oppression

    Seems appropriate.

  • Larry Sheldon

     I remember the WELL–the last place where I was able to hang with Communists, hippies, deadheads, and more, in civil discourse.  (I founded the bookstore there.)

  • http://twitter.com/WKNDLibertarian Weekend Libertarian

    I miss Camille Paglia. She was driving traffic there.

  • MrBK

    What moron over at Salon decided to hire Alex Pareene? The only thing that idiot brings to the table is hate. If you must, hire hate-mongers with talent at least.

  • http://profiles.google.com/exxo03 richard mcenroe

    The Salon crew are fighting to stay online because they just know that after Obama is re-elected they’ll be first in line for the new, official statzblog that will be replacing the internet.

  • http://qwertyaltofuori.blogspot.com Red

    Salon is sinking? Maybe why such fast and loose ‘articles’ are being published online–the ship is sinking so why publish, I don’t know, silly things like facts and the entire story? I wouldn’t have even called Pareens ‘article’ a decent op-ed piece–half-baked musings at best.  Geez, some of my short and sweet blog posts carry more weight and that’s not saying much!

  • http://qwertyaltofuori.blogspot.com Red

    You mean ‘cryballs’, WAHHH!

  • http://ruminationsofawageslave.blogspot.com/ Just Ken

    I agree with adjoran. Let the lefty millionaires squander their money on websites that nobody cares about. Let the bleeding continue.

  • GunnarMyrdahl

     where is she?