Everybody Loves Salon. So Why Is It Broke?

Salon.com is one of the original online publishing success stories. It has high-profile writers, scads of devoted readers, and a surfeit of great story ideas. So why is it constantly on the verge of going out of business? “The company ended its first quarter of 2003 with only $169,000 in cash. It stopped paying rent for its swanky San Francisco headquarters in December, and the landlord was demanding $200,000 immediately.” The problem may just be that the world that Salon created – where two-way communication supercedes the ‘old media’ model of “I write, you read” – has become so diverse and successful that Salon itself no longer has much of a core purpose.