Wednesday, May 05, 2010

David Bradley: Out-Thinking the Market!

The NY Observer has a big story on David Bradley's audacious plan to merge the forces of Hotline, National Journal, and Congress Daily to fight Politico.

Will someone remind me how Bradley got rich in the first place?

Nothing against Politico--it's a great product and I generally admire it. But unless I'm completely mistaken, Politico is not a money-making machine. In fact, it's rumored to be quite the opposite. Bradley's three crown properties, on the other hand, have always been spectacularly profitable. Unless their business model has gone completely upside down in the last 36 months, I can't imagine that they lose less money than Politico. They probably out-earn it by quite a lot.

So how is it that Bradley wants to "compete" with Politico? For what, page views? There was a wonderful moment in 1999 where for just a few minutes people remembered that actual dollars are worth more than digital pennies; that was not the future; that business was predicated on profitability and not press clippings and Technorati scores. Even in the midst of a Great Recession, that moment has clearly passed.

Imagine if Comcast had decided to re-order its business to compete with NetZero. That's the closest parallel I can think of to what Bradley is doing with his DC-based mint. For some people, making money consistently over a prolonged period isn't enough. They want to be trendy, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now all of the attacks on Politico from the likes of Sullivan and Ambinder make a little more sense.