Thanks to a website called bizinfo.com (click here), we now have an answer to all of your questions about those big blog bucks. And if you are a Tattler reader, the news is sweet indeed.
Now this is not to say any of the sites listed below are currently on the market and for sale. Though I suspect that for a couple of them at least you could probably assume ownership for a couple bottles of fairly decent wine and the hour of your time that it would take to listen to the owners' life stories.
On the other hand, perhaps Arianna Huffington style riches await those at the top of the Sierra Madre blog food chain? You know, when AOL finally wakes up to the fact that schmaltz journalism gives most people a headache, and they decide to go with a politically edgier fare, maybe they'll make a big play for The Tattler. But I can promise you this, unlike the doyenne of the Huffington Post, we will not sell out.
Enough of that. Here is how bizinfo.com ranks Sierra Madre's 6 most notable news sites. They are ranked by their market value, with the biggest numbers at the top.
#1) Sierra Madre Tattler: Website value $23,401.76 ---- United States rank 196,992
#2) City of Sierra Madre.com: Website value $17,765.58 ---- United States rank 224,163
#3) Sierra Madre News.net: Website value $10,490.29 ---- United States rank 339,713
#4) Sierra Madre Weekly.com: Website value $6,883.94 ---- No rank.
#5) Mountain Views News.com: Website value $1,181.88 ---- No rank.
#6) Sierra Madre Patch: Website value $1,155.70 ---- No rank.
Interesting how this has all broken down. And there is nothing like dollar figures to put things into a perspective that everyone can understand. Of course, and just to let you know how the competition shapes up at the top of the line, Google comes in at $9.48 billion website value, Facebook at $7.19 billion, and little old Yahoo straggles in at a mere $6.14 billion. So we do have a ways to go.
"AOL's future really does depend on Patch"
Despite the shocking news from bizinfo.com about the exceedingly low market valuation of its Sierra Madre property, according to the latest from a report on SFGATE.com ("AOL BOMBSHELL: Here's All The Juicy Stuff"), the future of AOL apparently does hinge upon the success of Patch.
Which is pretty mind boggling when you think about it. As we have reported previously, AOL lost $40 million on Patch in the first quarter of this year (click here), with similar losses projected for the next 3 quarters as well. With means it takes an average of $50,000 a quarter to keep each of the 800 Patches afloat, or $16,667 a month per site.
That seems like a lot of money to spend on sites that feature articles about Gymboree and where to get special deals on home care and beauty products.
So anyway, here is the latest AOL/Patch gossip according to SFGate.com:
Arianna is in it for herself. Bercovici (Forbes) says she is "somebody who has demonstrated that she puts her own interest ahead of those of her partners."
Ex-Huffpo ad boss Greg Coleman says Arianna can't be managed. He tells Bertovici "I know Arianna very well. She wanted three things: a big bag of gold, a big fat contract, and unilateral decision making over her world. And that is where you're going to have some problems. Arianna hates to be managed."
Parts of the HuffPo board didn't want to sell, but Arianna forced it through. "Our goal was an IPO rather than building up the company to be acquired by another media company," HuffPo investor, board member, and VC Fred Harman told Bertovici. "Even when Tim (Armstrong) put a preemptive offer on the table, (Huffington Post CEO) Eric (Hippeau) and I were still inclined to roll forward as an independent company out of the belief that The Huffington Post could continue to rapidly scale and be the dominant social news company on the Web," Harman says.
Armstrong tried to poach Arianna before buying HuffPo.
AOL's future really does depend on Patch. "(Tim Armstrong) has plenty of time, from an investor standpoint, to turn this thing around," Clayton Moran of the Benchmark Group told Forbes. "It'll really depend on the success or failure of Patch."
Tim is a flip-flopper, says an insider. "You make a case and he listens to the facts to make a determination. Then somebody else speaks and 20 minutes later he changes his mind," an insider told Forbes. "So you'd better be the person who goes down the elevator with him at the end of the day."
AOL's sales org is still a mess, and it's Jeff Levick's fault. "(Last quarter's) 4% ad revenue growth is a start," an exec who just quit AOL told Bercovici. "The question is, can you drive that thing much higher? I don't think they can with the advertising team they have now."
We here at The Tattler will continue to bring you all the latest news on the delightfully dysfunctional goings-on at AOL/Patch. As a reality show it's kind of like the Kardashians, but without all the pool parties.