Earlier this month, Gawker Media overlord Nick Denton boasted about his company’s success this year, telling Nieman Journalism Lab that ad revenues were up 35 percent during the first half of 2009. The unexpected success meant Gawker could reinstate its controversial pageview bonus system.
But in a blog post today, Denton reveals that ad revenues actually climbed 45 percent during the first six months of the year. The success is something to be crowed about, since Denton himself predicted last year that media companies would face “a decline of up to 40% in advertising spending.” He made drastic cuts at Gawker in order to prevent the inevitable — laying off staff, selling off blogs and cutting the bonus program.
Although Gawker’s ad revenues dropped during Q1, they rebounded dramatically in the second quarter, an increase that surprised Denton. “I was wrong in one respect: a few premium internet brands, Gawker’s among them, have withstood the advertising apocalypse,” he said.
“Sometimes there’s consolation to be found in congenital pessimism; I’d rather be wrong and thriving than right and dead,” he concluded.