BlogBeat: The New Yorker Is Working on a Profile of Nick Denton


After a long hiatus, the column that cost this company a cool mil in advertising has returned! BlogBeat is back, and this week, we’re coming out swinging. The New Yorker‘s working on a forthcoming profile of Gawker Media owner Nick Denton; Guest of a Guest has some disclosure indiscretions; a men’s fashion blog is quietly asserting its dominance; and more media outlets are making the move to Tumblr.

Nick Noted by New Yorker

Word’s now gotten out that New Yorker editor David Remnick has assigned a profile of (full disclosure: my former boss) Gawker Media owner Nick Denton to staff writer Ben McGrath, whose byline was published under a pretty entertaining, wonderful profile of Mayor Michael Bloomberg around the same time last year. Hysterically, this comes on the heels of Denton progeny Henry Blodget (of The Business Insider) getting profiled in Bloomberg BusinessWeek a few issues ago (a solid piece writer Andrew Goldman deserved high marks, for). Denton knows this is happening, and from what we hear, is cooperating.

Given the year Gawker Media’s had — the iPhone/Gizmodo story making national news, leadership changes at Jezebel (a site which has now been bizarrely rediscovered by the new York Times and as of this weekend, The Guardian), leadership changes at Gawker, and constant reminders that they’re now being read by something like the entire human and moose population of Canada — why not? Quite frankly, unless he starts offering a “Stabbing Bonus” for writers whose posts result in them being stabbed (by unique visitors only, though), there’s never going to be a perfect news “peg” for a Nick Denton profile. Careful, though: the last time The New Yorker profiled a blogging powerhouse, it was Tad Friend taking on Deadline Hollywood’s Nikki Finke, who later hysterically blogged that she enjoyed “bitchslapping” New Yorker editor David Remnick “throughout but especially during the very slipshod factchecking process.” The problem with profiling bloggers is that they’re bloggers. Good luck and godspeed to McGrath, who will no doubt turn out something that will be ideally, thoroughly entertaining, at best, thoroughly enlightening, and at the very worst, thoroughly well-read. Or well-blogged. That, too.

Guest of a Guest of Who?

Over the weekend, Page Six ran a fun little item that wasn’t really news to anyone interested in this kind of thing (like, maybe twenty people) but that’s fun because it’s now on public record! Or as much of a “public record” as Page Six is, anyway. The item: social scene blog Guest of a Guest’s founder, Rachelle Hruska, is dating one of The Bowery Hotel’s owners, Sean MacPherson. The item neglected to mention two things: the ridiculously cute puppy MacPherson and Hruska now share custody of (!!!) or the ridiculously cute coverage of MacPherson properties (The Bowery Hotel, The Maritime Hotel, The Jane) by Guest of a Guest which may now need disclosures! There doesn’t seem to be much there in the way of a story, though there might be something to be said for Guest of a Guest’s uncharacteristically negative coverage of some of MacPherson’s local competition, The Standard owner Andre Balzas — whose hotel MacPherson has talked smack on previously — and his property’s supposedly failing nightlife coup d’état, The Boom Boom Room. Just sayin.

‘Lean’ Getting Big.

After opening up shop on his own online store, NYC-based men’s fashion blog A Continuous Lean (or really, ACL proprietor Michael Williams) — who’s contributed to GQ, and for a second, the New York Observer before Tyler Thorenson’s ouster — is now selling one of his wares at a J. Crew store in New York, a canvas bag which is a collaboration with J. Crew. This represents a pretty big step for a blog that only puts out one post a day, but the trip for ACL’s been slow and steady on the rise, always. Even more, Williams is still shooting straight: as he runs a PR shop during the day, he’s always careful to make a disclosure whenever his day job and editorial product cross lines, like this. That’s not just something you don’t see bloggers do, that’s something you don’t see anybody in fashion editorial routinely come out with. If Williams continues to demonstrate this kind of savvy on both sides of his work, who knows where ACL could go. Keep an eye on it.

Tumblrarity Never Dies.

Newsweek losing their Tumblr-expert Mark Coatney might have drawn some attention to the “microblogging” platform, as more media outlets seem to be jumping on it quickly. Granted, Politico started using their Tumblr last month before Coatney switched gigs, but they seem to be kicking it into high gear now. And Nick Denton put a call out for someone to design him a Tumblr theme today, though that might have been for himself. Or maybe not! You know who this is a case for? The New Yorker.