Tuesday, February 20, 2007

New Oz blog network via Gawker

A couple of posts yesterday about a new blog network backed by News Corp VC fund Netus. It's called Allure and will launch with two blogs, an Australian version of Gizmodo and a gossip blog.

Here's an extract from the story published on ITjourno yesterday (via Squash).
The first, big independent blog media initiative to take on the Australian market will see the launch of a local version of the powerful Gawker Media ‘Gizmodo’ tech blog.

Gizmodo Australia will be published by newcomer Allure Media. Allure is a spin-off from netus - a News Limited-backed investment vehicle that boasts management heavyweights like former Microsoft bigwig Daniel Petre as executive director, and former eBay and eCorp CEO Alison Deans as executive director of operations. Allure is headed by one-time australianit.com.au editor Chris Janz.

Netus describes itself as an “Australian technology investment company focused on bringing proven technology-based services and products to the Australian market”, with Allure Media signifying its pitch into the blog media arena, based on the company’s acquisition of the rights to the mastheads and content of US blog network Gawker Media.

Allure will launch with two blogs. The first will be Gizmodo, a gadget blog which is Gawker’s most popular masthead with 4.3 million monthly unique visitors and sitting at No. 4 on the Technorati list of most-linked to blogs. Allure will also launch a gossip blog, a Gawker Media staple, closely modelled on the LA-centric Defamer masthead.

Chris Janz - who took an express ride through the News Interactive ranks - is Allure Media’s managing director, but will retain editorial control over all mastheads, in a similar manner to the way Nick Denton runs Gawker Media. Again, much like Gawker operates, each of Allure’s blogs will be chaired by an editor, as well as calling on the assistance of outside contributors.

Janz has been on board for three weeks, having relocated back to Sydney after a stint on the Gold Coast as a producer on Channel Ten’s Big Brother program.

“I’ve been talking to netus for a while. They’ve been looking at blogs for about a year and they’ve gone through all the properties in the States and have cherry-picked those that they’re really interested in, and we’re now bringing them to market,” Janz said.

Janz said that Allure has exclusive rights to Gawker content as well as a “another couple [non-Gawker blogs] that we really think will work in this market”.
Paul Montgomery rightly questions the logic (or sanity) of localising US content in a web environment. Why wouldn't you go straight to the original?

I guess we'll see.

According to Montgomery: "It's not going to work. At least, not unless the netus people learn that A$8 million can get burned pretty damn quick in Surry Hills".

Apparently Janz's package is about AUD$200k, plus bonuses and 5-10% equity in Allure. I suspect he's going to have his work cut out "monetising" these new blogs in order to keep that salary.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck running a gawker-style gossip blog under Oz defo laws.