Content is king, after all! Or, not quite. Google has poached Salon.com CEO Richard Gingras who will become global head of news products. Salon has been slipping over the edge of unmonetizable oblivion despite respectable traffic and a cast of very sharp bloggers including Glenn Greenwald. So why is Google hiring the CEO of a money-losing weblog?
Mr. Gingras will be in charge of improving Google News products, which he consulted on for Google in the past. At the same time, LinkedIn has hired Fortune digital editor Dan Roth. Seems like tech companies are preparing for quality content to rise again now that Google’s algorithm and social filters are punishing spam and content farms.
But even top quality content like the New York Times is still struggling for a business model; much like a hot young start-up, many content sites have a popular product and even hordes of users… just no business model. Google, Apple and other techsters–even Cheezburger’s Ben Huh–have expressed interest in solving the business model problem for news. Maybe Mr. Gingras will have better luck monetizing news at Google than he did at Salon.