Matt Forney made an interesting observation last week – Salon.com, which has been operating since 1995, in the very early days of the internet, has never once turned a profit. Its not as though this is some podunk website – with a current global rank of #2,100 on Alexa, Salon is one of the most frequently linked sites on Facebook and Twitter feeds by liberals everywhere.
Similarweb cites Salon as having 26.1 million views per month. For reference, the only website that Free Market Shooter contributes to that has more monthly page views is ZeroHedge. As per Similarweb, none of the others have more than 1 million pageviews per month. Yet, all of them still turn a profit, despite having far less traffic than Salon. In the case of ZeroHedge, Salon’s nearest traffic competitor that this website contributes to, the profitability of the website is likely significant.
So, how exactly is Salon.com still in business? More importantly, how has it been able to operate, despite losing money for over 20 years?
Simple – Salon relies on handouts; the vast majority (if not all) come from two individuals, John Warnock and Bill Hambrecht. Notably, Bill Hambrecht is the father of former Salon CEO Elizabeth Hambrecht.
Yes, the only reason that Salon.com is in existence is because the former CEO’s father has funded it every step of the way. Two extremely successful businessmen are somehow OK with the website spending far more than it takes in, and are effectively paying the salaries of the staffers at the website, as Wikipedia cites:
During the nine months ended December 31, 2012, these cash contributions amounted to $3.4 million, compared to revenue in the same period of $2.7 million.
This is not to slander the donation model, as many websites (notably Wikipedia) rely entirely on donations to stay in business. Plenty of others accept donations, and are partially funded by other sources. However, all are forced to operate within the constraints of their budget, and cannot go hat-in-hand to get more funds from their father. Notably, the vast majority have a very diverse set of donors, and are constantly expanding their donor base. Clearly, individual donors are keen to donate to those who provide legitimate content, whether they are donating $2 million or just $2.
Why would two businessmen continue to finance Salon and pay the salaries of the staffers, if the advertising revenue cannot support them? They must agree with the site’s message and content, because I can’t think of any other reason two successful individuals would throw money at a continuous loser.
So, what exactly is the “content” at Salon that Warnock and Hambrecht are financing? Notably, it includes hits like “I’m a pedophile, but not a monster” (a screenshot is below):
And their Twitter feed is filled with the sorts of contractions we have come to expect from liberal media:
Of course, the internet is populated with all sorts of morons, and I’m hardly surprised that Salon is as popular as it is. However, you’d think that a website that has 26+ million hits a month would be raking in the dough, even if just off of advertising revenue. If you visit Salon.com, you will see a myriad of advertisements, and likely be bombarded by many more advertising videos (with sound), whether you have an ad-blocker or not.
Yet, everything about the website is just a mirage, from their content to their popularity. They pay their staff far more than the site itself earns, and the site’s liberal agenda is solely financed by two rich elites, one of whom is a parent of a former company official.
It makes sense, if you analogize it to the tax-and-spend government model espoused by liberal elites – keep loss leaders in business, economics be damned, and rely on other people’s money, notably the rich, to keep the dream alive.
Finally, take note that you will not see any links to Salon.com on this post – you will have to view it for yourself to see what I mean. However, I humbly ask that you not do so. Not only do you likely have no desire to view their content, we must all work together to expose the site for what it is. If Warnock and Hambrecht want to drive traffic to the garbage they finance, that will be up to them, but we must not be complicit in boosting the lies, contradictions, and fiction that Salon peddles.