Content and coverage
covers a variety of topics, including reviews and articles about books, films, and music;
articles about "modern life", including friendships, human sexual behavior, and relationships; and reviews and articles about technology, with a particular focus on the free and open-source software
According to the senior contributing writer for the American Journalism Review
, Paul Farhi, Salon
offers "provocative (if predictably liberal) political commentary and lots of sex."
In 2008, Salon
launched the interactive initiative Open Salon
, a social content site/blog network for its readers. Originally a curated site with some of its content being featured on Salon
, it fell into editorial neglect and was closed in March 2015.
Responding to the question, "How far do you go with the tabloid
sensibility to get readers?," former Salon.com editor-in-chief David Talbot
more tabloid-like? Yeah, we've made no secret of that. I've said all along that our formula here is that we're a smart tabloid. If by tabloid what you mean is you're trying to reach a popular audience, trying to write topics that are viscerally important to a readership, whether it's the story about the mother in Houston who drowned her five children
or the story on the missing intern in Washington, Chandra Levy
Staff and contributors
, who wrote about politics for Salon
, in New York in 2012
Regular contributors include the political-opinion writers Amanda Marcotte, Scott Eric Kaufman, Heather Digby Parton and Sean Illing, critic Andrew O'Hehir and pop-culture columnist Mary Elizabeth Williams
Jordan Hoffner took over as CEO in May 2016.
was created in the wake of the San Francisco newspaper strike of 1994
, by former San Francisco Examiner
arts and features editor David Talbot
who wished to explore the potential of Web
It launched as salonmag.com
in November 1995. In its early days, readers noticed a specifically Northern California flavor. In 1996, Talbot agreed: "We swim in the soup of San Francisco. There are a lot of odd fish we've plucked out of the bay here and it gives us some of that Left Coast, Weird Coast style." Time
magazine named it one of the Best Web Sites of 1996.
Salon Premium, a pay-to-view (online) content subscription was introduced on April 25, 2001. The service signed up 130,000 subscribers and staved off discontinuation of services. However, in November 2002, the company announced it had accumulated cash and non-cash losses of $80 million, and by February 2003 it was having difficulty paying its rent and made an appeal for donations to keep the company running.
Front-page design in 2006
On October 9, 2003, Michael O'Donnell, the chief executive
and president of Salon Media Group, said he was leaving the company after seven years because it was "time for a change." When he left, Salon.com had accrued $83.6 million in losses since its inception, and its stock traded for 5¢ on the OTC Bulletin Board
. David Talbot, Salon
's chairman and editor-in-chief at the time, became the new chief executive. Elizabeth "Betsy" Hambrecht, then Salon
's chief financial officer
, became the president.
In July 2008, Salon
launched Open Salon
, a "social content site" and "curated blog network."
It was nominated for a 2009 National Magazine Award
in the category "best interactive feature." On March 9, 2015, Salon
announced it would be closing Open Salon
after six years of hosting a community of writers and bloggers.
closed its online chat board "Table Talk" without stating an official reason for ending that section of the site on June 10, 2011.
On July 16, 2012, Salon
announced that it would be featuring content from Mondoweiss.
Salon Media Group sold The WELL
to the group of members in September 2012.
Business model and operations
has been unprofitable through its entire history. Since 2007, the company has been dependent upon repeated cash injections from board Chairman John Warnock
and William Hambrecht
, father of former Salon
CEO Elizabeth Hambrecht.
During the nine months ending on December 31, 2012, these cash contributions amounted to $3.4 million, compared to revenue in the same period of $2.7 million.
In December 2016 and January 2017, the company was evicted from its New York offices at 132 West 31st Street, a block from Madison Square Garden
, for non-payment of $90,000 in back rent.
In February 2017, Spear Point Capital invested $1 million into Salon, taking a 29% equity stake and three seats on the company's board.
As of April 2019, the company had failed to file its form 10-K for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. On August 30, 2019 Salon.com was sold for $5 million by Salon Media Group (OTCQB
) to privately held Salon.com, LLC which is owned by Chris Richmond
and Drew Schoentrup.
Aspects of the Salon.com site offerings, ordered by advancing date:
Retracted article on vaccine conference
In March 2016, while American tourist Otto Warmbier
was imprisoned in North Korea
for allegedly trying to steal a propaganda poster
there, the site posted an article about him headed: "This might be America's biggest idiot frat boy: Meet the UVa
student who thought he could pull a prank in North Korea."
After Warmbier's death, the article was removed.
Andrew O'Hehir, the executive editor of Salon
, said the article was a summary of the opinions of television comedian Larry Wilmore
In September 2015, Salon
published an article written by Todd Nickerson, moderator of Virtuous Pedophiles
, about his experiences with being a non-offending pedophile
, titled: "I'm a pedophile, but not a monster."
This caused controversy at the time, with some commentators considering it "pro-pedophile"
and Nickerson himself subject to a "backlash."
This article, along with an accompanying video
and a follow-up article,
was deleted in February 2017, supposedly to protect Salon
from accusations of hypocrisy
when covering Milo Yiannopoulos
's alleged support for pedophilia,
although Salon Media Group CEO and Salon
acting editor-in-chief Jordan Hoffner told New York
magazine it was due to unspecified "new editorial policies."
In February 2018, it was noted that Salon
was preventing readers using ad blockers
from seeing its content. Such users are offered a choice of disabling their blocker, or allowing Salon
to run an in-browser script, using the user's resources, to mine Monero
, a form of cryptocurrency.
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- ^ Gauthier, Brendan (March 2, 2016). "This might be America's biggest idiot frat boy: Meet the UVa student who thought he could pull a prank in North Korea". Salon. Archived from the original on March 2, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
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- ^ Nickerson, Todd (September 30, 2015). "I'm a pedophile, you're the monsters: My week inside the vile right-wing hate machine". Salon. Los Angeles. Archived from the original on June 8, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
- ^ Browne, Ryan (February 14, 2018). "US news site gives readers a choice: Disable your ad blocker or let us mine cryptocurrency". CNBC. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
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Last edited on 21 April 2021, at 04:23
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