Gannett Blog will beis alreadymissed, since author Jim Hopkins shut it down after Gannett’s last round of layoffs. He covered layoffs inside the company, yes, but also all sorts of misdeeds that the execs got up to (paying for a golf tournament with company money after talking about how tight money was, funneling charity money to pet projects, etc).
Forbes caught up with him to do an “exit interview” and to see what the man’s been up to since.
What volume of Web traffic and how many posts did Gannett Blog average?
On a typical day I’d get 150-200 comments, mostly from rank and file employees. Traffic at the site always rose after a round of layoffs. On average it ranged from 30,000 to 50,000 visitors a month.
At one point you went to an advertising model for the blog. Was this a success?
No. I made a total $3,000 in ad sales and another $8,000 in donations.
Are you optimistic about Gannett’s future?
No. And I don’t say that with any joy. I love newspapers and I have many friends who still work at Gannett. But technology always wins. It is transforming the newspaper business, something that Gannett will not do. The biggest thing Gannett has going for it now is CareerBuilder.com, which it owns half of. That’s a job site that has nothing to do with journalism.
You’ve just moved to Spain. What are your plans now?
I’m building a social network for gay business executives called Ibiza Confidential, named after the Spanish island. It’s a site where executives who control corporate budgets will find information about entertainment, travel and news. If I’m successful, it will launch early next year. But the gay travel space is already heavily populated. It will be a lot tougher than Gannett Blog, which had no competition.