Within minutes of our arrival, NBC became the target and the Gawker bloggers posted this item: "How much money is NBC wasting in our office right now?"
Nearly ten years after launching Gawker out of his apartment, Nick Denton is now an internet media mogul. His eight blog empire is the envy of the internet. Denton sat down with NBC News National Correspondent Jamie Gangel for an exclusive Rock Center interview.
A graduate from Oxford and a former reporter for Financial Times, Denton always admired the moxie of British tabloids and saw potential in the free-for-all of the Internet. The 45-year-old created the most valuable blog network: Gawker Media covering gossip, gadgets, sports, and scandal. The network consists of eight blogs: Gawker, Deadspin, Kotaku, Jezebel, io9, Jalopnik, Gizmodo, and Lifehacker. Its estimated worth: $320 million.
Gawker has a reputation of paying for salacious scoops. It publishes rumors, and if they get the story wrong, they pay the price, either in legal fees or by simply posting an update.
“People need to get their head around the fact that the web is different, that we publish faster, we change faster, we correct faster,” Denton told Gangel.
Along the way Gawker has been the first to break big news stories. Gizmodo, Gawker’s tech blog, scooped Apple by posting the first pictures of the iPhone 4, a scoop with a $5,000 price tag. The Gawker blog was also the first to report that New York Congressman Chris Lee had sent a shirtless photo to a woman on Craigslist. It ended Lee’s career in a record two hours and 27 minutes. And finally Deadspin, Gawker’s sports blog, paid $12,000 to an anonymous source for voicemail messages and graphic photos of NFL quarterback Brett Favre. That resulted in an NFL investigation which then fined Favre $50,000 for failing to cooperate.
“This is going to sound really, really pretentious, but I believe in the larger truth and I believe that the truth is arrived at often in a rather messy fashion. And that gossip is part of the process,” Denton said.
There’s more gossip to hear from Denton, so check out Jamie Gangel’s full report, “The Gossip Merchant,” Wednesday, Mar. 7 at 10/9c on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.