Any day someone in New York’s media racket gets a new gig (that isn’t a soul-sucking endeavor meant to lobotomize writers’ brains for an efficient homogenized-content-succubus), it’s worth noting. This week, two sites are on the rise, one elbowing into the LadyBlogging arena, the other, fashion.
Hey, Ladies: Founding Gawker editor Elizbaeth Spiers already helped launch Crushable last month, this month, she’s onto The Gloss, which is another ladysite for B5 Media, a Canadian company you wouldn’t have heard of unless you want their money (or are giving them money), but who apparently have enough scrilla to get a few sites up and running and ready to compete. Spiers has basically launched every website in New York. She also co-founded Dead Horse Media (which gave rise to DealBreaker, a blog covering Wall Street antics), assisted with getting city guide purveyor Flavorpill’s pop culture blog, Flavorwire, off the ground, and is now in business with some Canadians nobody really knows about. Wild speculation, go: These are Canadians paying in American dollars.
And a decent amount, maybe. They’ve rounded up some name-y, well resume’d talent, including Jezebel contributor Megan Carpentier, former Jewcy and Save The Assistants writer Lilit Marcus, former DealBreaker writer Erin Carlson, and former MediaBistro/Fishbowl NY editor Amanda Earnst, also promising content from the New York Observer‘s resident Zoologist Spencer Morgan and former Idolator blogger (and Village Voice contributor) Maura Johnston, among others.
Peter Feld, writing for Guest of a Guest, talked to Spiers and the Canadian Moneypeople about what they plan on doing with their Canadian American dollars. It basically sounds like Jezebel For People Who Find Jezebel Scary – meaning that it won’t be the place to read about the time you needed the jaws of life to remove a severely errant tampon. Instead, Crushable has a story about a guy who named his penis “Vitamin J” and The Gloss has a guide to referring to your period in other countries. Making odds and ends of all these ladysites are difficult, but har har, ‘I’m a straight, heterosexual male’ (etc.) so consider the source ‘unqualified.’
Finally, apropos of nothing: Feld once worked for Michael Dukakis, who is still alive, and has yet to get into the media ownership game.
Feeling All ‘Ite: MSNBC talking head turned burgeoning media mogul (and bachelor about town) Dan Abrams is thankfully not launching another site replete with an arbitrary ranking system intended solely to make people angry about Something That Was Numbered on The Internet.
Oh, wait, he is. SportsGrid is going to boast Mediaite’s (thankfully proprietary) ranking system, but for sports writers and columnists. Because sports blog types are generally insane, this has great potential, especially in the especially insane markets, by which I mean: Boston. SportsGrid will presumably also cover sports writing! That said, at least Abrams isn’t launching another site with the suffix “-ite” in it.
Oh, wait, he is. But at least Styleite, which has yet to launch, boasts both (A) no ranking system to speak of…yet…and (B) a seasoned hire in Verena von Pfetten, formerly of Air America, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and a bunch of others. That said it’s worth noting that his last hire built in this model, Mediaite’s Rachel Sklar, also formerly of The Huffington Post, has scaled back her duties as Mediaite’s executive editor less than a year into the site’s life. Von Pfetten’s done talking head work on TV for some of her gigs, which is a skill Abrams will probably leverage into a good TV appearance/plug or ten on NBC – for whom he’s still a talking screaming head from time to time – or its various affiliates. Alisa Gould-Simon recently wrote a lengthy post for ArtInfo wondering about Styleite’s chances in the fashion-blog market (“Does Styleite Stand a Chance?”), but that’s more an assessment of the fashion blog market, and has nothing to do with the actual site, which nobody’s seen.
Granted, Abrams knows how to grow a site with plucky pop culture-driven headlines (that might not fall beyond what one would think the bottom line for shameless pageview hoarding would be). Then again, you’ve got a media consulting business to defer to, and fashion’s most important blogger right now is twelve. So, really: shouldn’t be too hard.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 8, 2010