Gawker's Traffic Down 25% Since Redesign

Chief Nick Denton: “We knew this was going to be traumatic”

Gawker Media’s dramatic redesign has had a “traumatic” effect on its traffic, according to chief Nick Denton.

"We're probably down by about 25 percent," Denton said during a session at PaidContent’s 2011 Conference on Thursday in New York. Denton, however, is "pretty confident we're gonna be coming back” and that the "overlying business is pretty strong."

Also read: Gawker Admits Redesign Mistakes, Rolls Out Fixes

Denton added: “We knew this was going to be traumatic,” so much so that the company set flat revenue targets for 2011 “so the salespeople wouldn't be demoralized by the inevitable disruption."

The blog network's founder also batted down rumors of a Huffington Post-like sale. "We are really not for sale," Denton said.

He reiterated his disappointment in the sale of HuffPo — which had been a shining example among fiercely independent Silicon Alley startups.

"Our biggest problem is that AOL is our obvious competitor in business terms," he said, noting that both Gawker and AOL have a portfolio of sites. "And yet it's hard to get that motivated by a [fight] with AOL."

He added: "I don't really see HuffPo prospering the way they have in the last few years."