On Monday, the Miami Herald profiled local resident Matt Drudge, who claims to earn US$1.2 million in advertising revenue from his Web site.
Its ads are sold by Intermarkets, an agency that also sells banner for The Chicago Sun-Times, The Village Voice, and other sites. The banner ads costs $3 per thousand impressions or $4,400 a day (discounted to $29,000 a week). Drudge claims that his site received nearly 6.5 million visitors during the average day in August and had 163 million in the preceding 31 days. After Intermarket’s commission, the ad revenue is almost pure profit for Drudge. The site costs only about $4,000 a month to run.
Most journalists’ reactions to Drudge are similar to those of J.D. Lasica’s.
Lasica and Drudge are correct in that Drudge isn’t a journalist. We believe that he is an entertainer, or what Drudge refers to as “newsman”. He’s the counterman who slices up and serves a commodity — in his case, hyperlinks to news & opinion Web sites. Much of what he serves up might be baloney, but he’s gotten rich running an online delicatessen of the news.