In a rather surprising move Newsweek.com has severed its web traffic ties with MSNBC.
“We’re not continuing it,” Charlie Tillinghast, president and publisher of the MSNBC Digital Network, told Adweek. “They just decided not to do it. There wasn’t a lot of discussion about it. I got the impression they were busy trying to organize themselves.”
This is a curious move as AdWeek pointed out. The agreement brought Newsweek.com nearly half of its web traffic in some months, but it did come at a price estimated at $3 million annually. Since Newsweek.com’s visitor count has been dropping for months, the decision may not have as big an impact as it would have had last summer. Still, if MSNBC was bringing 1-2 million visitors a month, those numbers can’t be readily replaced by “organic” methods. This may have been more of a cost cutting maneuver by the owners of the newly merged Newsweek and Daily Beast, but it could also prove to be a shortsighted strategy where every eyeball counts.
Newsweek took another hit on Friday when it was announced that prominent blogger, Mickey Kaus, was moving over to Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller. Not only have they cut off the source of much of its web traffic, but also lost a major draw from their site as well.
Kaus must have seen the handwriting on the wall to jump ship to a conservative-leaning site.