Worrisome news out of the corporate blog world today: Gawker Media has sold its music blog Idolator to Buzznet, which has also acquired Idolator rival Stereogum (with some alarm-sounding investment from Universal Music Group). Gawker, which has taken an overall quality dive in recent months after the mass departure of some great editors and writers (gawker.com itself, now under the stewardship of Gawker owner Nick Denton, is completely useless), had a nice, self-aware product in Idolator, a refreshing, sharply written alternative for the pretension of Pitchfork or the scroll-down slog of Brooklyn Vegan. (Fun facts: Editor Maura Johnston is a Plumtree fan, and back when they had a daily mp3 round-up, they were all over jale.)
But Idolator was clearly a loss for the company, which has restructured its employee reunumeration system so that items with the most hits and comments pay out; a post at Jezebel, Gawker's best blog, routinely hits thousands of page views and hundreds of comments, while a post at Idolator barely cracks triple and double digits respectively.
Check out the boring reasons for the change here, and keep an eye out for the inevitable downward turn in quality and, we expect, sudden interest in Universal product. (For further evidence of how this sort of thing can go awry, head over to Television Without Pity to see how Bravo/NBC managed to ruin everything that was great about it in one short year.) —Tara Thorne