Nick Denton says mainstream media is cooked

Gawker's Nick Denton predicts dire times for mainstream media.
Stephen Baker

I caught up briefly with Gawker's Nick Denton the other day. It made me feel like running down the hall and grabbing a handful of free notepads and Sharpies--getting the last gravy from the MSM train while it's still running.

Denton says that the mainstream press is too slow to adapt its businesses to the ongoing information revolution. He compares big media to the telcos, like Verizon, who reluctantly embrace VOIP, in part because it appears to undermine their legacy business. "They have institutional hurdles to adapting blog economics," he says.

Denton says that radical adjustments are needed. While papers like The New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer have cut back on staff, he says: "Tell me when they fire 60%....It will take them so long to change, and that gives us a lot of time for new media to emerge and thrive."

Denton doesn't talk about finances, but repeats his contention that Weblogs Inc. co-founder Jason Calacanis sold out "10 years too early" to AOL. (Calacanis responds with a valentine for Denton.)

One question I forgot to ask Denton. In the traffic stats on his various sites, the average lengths per visit are ridiculously short. Wonkette, for example, gets only 8 seconds. Could that be true? I have to believe it's skewed by something.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.