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.