Oddjack A Losing Hand

According to several reports, Gawker Media will shut down its gambling site Oddjack on Friday, December 2. Editor A.J. Daulerio was fired yesterday afternoon by Gakwer Media managing editor Lockhart Steele. Yanking Oddjack is the first such setback for Gawker Media, which has launched 13 other blogs since its inception in 2002.
In response to several questions by mediabistro, Gawker Media founder Nick Denton posted a comment on his own site this afternoon:

Blog titles are like new TV shows. Some make it; some don’t. Oddjack, Gawker Media’s gambling site, was one of the ones that didn’t. And it’s best to cancel the show sooner rather than later.
A.J. Daulerio, the editor, is a trooper, and an amusing writer, but the audience was never there. Gawker traffic stats are public, so that’s been pretty obvious to anyone who checks the numbers. Gamblers want to gamble; it seems they don’t particularly want to read about gambling, however.
So we’re closing down Oddjack by the end of the month. We’d rather concentrate our energies on sites such as Deadspin, which have buzz and a growing audience, and new launches, which have equal potential. The moral of the story: it’s easy to launch sites; much harder to make them popular.

According to Gawker traffic statistics, also posted on Denton’s own site, Oddjack had 420,000 pageviews and about 180,000 visitors during its peak traffic month of September.
Susan Mernit disputes those numbers.

Lock says my stats were wrong, plain wrong–the real data suggests that OddJack actually got fewer visitors than a Fire Department pancake breakfast.

[via Micropersuasion]

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I never knew niche blogs were supposed to pull big numbers and would run over many small animals to get the numbers that blog got yanked for.

  2. I think the decision may run to the lack of ad revenue the site was able to pull. Gambling-related sites aren’t allowed in the Google AdSense Terms and the online sports books are interested in ad space from August to November to coincide with the start of football. Most of them even shut down their affiliate programs in the off season.