Theresa May Steals the Show at Spectator Awards

Relinquishing the stresses of Prime Ministerial office has done wonders for loosening up the Maybot. She stole the show last night dancing on stage to her classic Dancing Queen, boogying with former Justice Secretary Robert Buckland. She won the ‘Backbencher of the Year’ award and opened by thanking her colleagues “who ensured that I was on the backbenches – some of you are here tonight.” The zenith of her performance, however, came at the end when she concluded with a totally unexpected filthy joke. Audio courtesy of Steerpike:

Among the night’s other winners included Sajid Javid, taking home ‘Comeback of the Year’. He thanked those responsible for making the victory happen – including the CCTV guy at the Department for Health…

mdi-timer 25 November 2021 @ 10:09 25 Nov 2021 @ 10:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
World’s Oldest Magazine on Brink of NFT Bonanza

The Spectator is, at the time of going to pixel, on the brink of raking in over $17,000 for a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) of their famous Brexit butterfly. With the sale ending at 18:04 this evening, co-conspirators have just over an hour to outbid ‘Nathodler‘ for the prized artwork, with the NFT granting the winning bidder unique ownership of one of the Speccie’s most iconic cover pieces. Editor Fraser Nelson writes:

“The cover was not just a bestseller, it’s the artwork most likely to be found on the walls of Spectator readers and embodies a sentiment – of open, global Britain – that has stayed in the political consciousness. When Theresa May delivered her Lancaster House speech about Brexit Britain standing ready to be Europe’s best ally, I spoke to Nick Timothy, then her chief of staff, who was trying to explain it to me. ‘If that speech had an image,’ he said, ‘it would have been a Spectator Brexit butterfly.”

For those ready to enter the bidding war, time is of the essence…

mdi-timer 5 November 2021 @ 16:43 5 Nov 2021 @ 16:43 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Toby Young’s Daily Sceptic Has More Online Readers than the New Statesman, Novara Media and Morning Star Combined

An article in this week’s New Statesman (“In the Post-Corbyn World, What Next for Alternative Left Media?“) spurred Guido to do some research into their traffic and how they are performing generally. The short answer is not very well in terms of raw audience size. In comparison to right-of-centre political news and opinion sites they are well behind. Like-for-like The Spectator has double the New Statesman’s readership. To give you an idea how much worse they are faring after the Corbyn-era glory days, consider this, Toby Young’s Daily Sceptic alone had last month more online readers than the New Statesman, Novara Media and Morning Star combined!

Even the upstart newly launched GB News website has more traffic than most left-wing websites and those same websites say GB News is failing. The question that needs answering is why are right-of-centre news and views outlets out-performing – in terms of audience reach – left-of-centre news and views websites? Some of them will argue that we’re looking in the wrong place – the audience is not just on their website. The Canary and Skwawkbox generate engagement on Facebook which outstrips their own native website audience by a multiple. Novara Media’s videos and podcasts are apparently seen by far more viewers and listeners than will read their articles. Owen Jones has his own lucrative YouTube channel. Of course GB News has a television channel so can’t be compared like-for-like, it also has an active online video audience, as do the Spectator and Unherd. They match the left for reach, similarly they tend to preach to the converted. The only place where the left-wing media seems dominant is on social media, Twitter in particular.

Is the left’s supposed dominance of Twitter entirely true? The left are are certainly more active on Twitter, in terms of followers however @GuidoFawkes has more than any of the left-wing politics sites. Academic research suggests that left-wing Twitter is more active and that activity is mainly preaching to the converted and engaging with other left-wingers. The left is more active on Twitter undoubtedly and it gives the micro-blogging site a hostile atmosphere for right-of-centre users, however election after election shows that, in the words of David Cameron, “Britain is not Twitter”. As the SNP’s Cyber-Nats demonstrate all too loudly, ferocious activity is not evidence of numbers.

Is it money? The New Statesman is backed by Mike Danson, a billionaire willing to bankroll the millions in annual losses of the magazine without flinching. Novara Media got funding from a foundation backed by millionaire philanthropists, Tribune Magazine has the backing of an American publisher. The healthy tradition on the left of funding publications from readers’ donations means Novara Media and Owen Jones have six-figure revenues and paid staff, on the right only Toby Young’s Daily Sceptic is funded likewise. The Spectator and Guido Fawkes are profit-making commercially competitive media enterprises that stand on their own two feet, they are also read in droves by left-of-centre readers who don’t share their editorial line for the news, gossip and entertainment, whereas few right-of-centre readers would enjoy reading the dreary ideological output of most left-wing publications. Funding isn’t the problem.

Perhaps the answer is simply that the likes of the Guardian, Daily Mirror, Buzzfeed News, Huffington Post and the BBC provide most left-of-centre news consumers with satisfactory confirmation of their prejudices such that they just don’t have to venture out to the alt-left for content that appeals. Is it just that in the wider media context it is harder for the alt-left to appeal beyond an ideological core readership?

mdi-timer 30 October 2021 @ 14:33 30 Oct 2021 @ 14:33 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Cummings Coining It from Revelations

Lynn Barber has interviewed Dominic Cummings in the Spectator and there are, as always with a Dom, a few juicy nuggets. He says Boris jokingly offered him a peerage and that he mulled over finding Carrie a job with a lot of travel, claiming Boris said “We’ve got to find her a job with lots of foreign travel. Could we get the cabinet secretary to give her a job on COP26, travelling round with Kate Middleton?” Who knows if that is true or if Boris was serious in either instance…

One thing that struck Guido was that Dom says he now has more than 1,500 subscribers. Given he charges £100-a-year or £10-a-month he’s on course to make over £150,000 this year – that’s not including any consulting for which he is openly sniffing around. He is also charging a subscription rate that is double that of the Spectator. Makes one think…

mdi-timer 5 August 2021 @ 09:00 5 Aug 2021 @ 09:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Vodafone Say Social Media Team Wrong to Say Boycotting GB News, Co-op Also, Octopus Waiting to Judge Output

The overzealous social media team at Vodafone bent to non-existent pressure from bad-faith lefties and jumped onto the GB News outrage train. They tweeted that “advertising [with GB News] has been placed without our permission” and that they’ll be “addressing this”. If you’re thinking that it would be insane to revise ad strategies because one woke account with 356 followers threatened to change phone providers, then you would be right… 

Sources at Vodafone have confirmed to Guido they have no intention of boycotting GB News and that a social media person is making decisions way above their station. This isn’t the first time a social media team has gone rogue… 

Last year Co-op made an embarrassing gaffe, after a social media intern tweeted that the Co-op would no longer be advertising with The Spectator, prompting a huge backlash from media veteran Andrew Neil. It seems like Co-op have learnt from their mistakes tweeting today that they will not “affect the editorial independence of publications or channels”.

Today, Guido also learnt that Octopus Energy are not in fact boycotting GB News, despite claims to the contrary. An email exchange with the company confirmed that Octopus Energy are not “pulling sponsorship” – they are instead waiting to see the success of the programme before buying more advertisements. Seems fair… 

Currently all of the advertising on GB News is programmatically automated – in so much as advertisers go to media buyers and specify a quantity and type of audience at a given price – rather than channel specific. GB News’s advertising sales have been outsourced to Sky Media, the adverts are placed across the130 channels Sky carries during breaks. So when they say adverts were not specifically authorised to appear on a channel, it is true.

Guido suspects advertisers are going to try to avoid provoking viewers or bad faith left-wing campaigners. Savvy advertisers will buy the audience on merit, not on the politics.

mdi-timer 17 June 2021 @ 08:08 17 Jun 2021 @ 08:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Galloway Lays Down Gauntlet to Salmond

While Salmond’s Alba party is creating family infighting among the Scottish independence camp, Guido enjoyed watching a similar row over the weekend between Scottish Tories and George Galloway’s “All For Unity” party. Not only are the Tories threatening he’ll split the vote and let in Sturgeon, some are even claiming he’s actually an anti-union sleeper agent. Paranoid…

Galloway isn’t spending time firing back at the Tories, however – he’s got Salmond in his sights. Yesterday he published an open letter laying down the gauntlet for an Andrew Neil-chaired debate between the two on Spectator TV, claiming it’s “the debate that the public have been longing for. Box office, TV gold. The heavyweights of Scottish politics.”

“I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it is an outrage and a disgrace that the BBC and STV continue to exclude us from the televised debates, despite polls showing that both of our parties are set to win seats in the next Scottish Parliament.”

Galloway says he’s happy for it to go down “any time, any place”. Guido’s got all his fingers crossed that the fiery debate goes ahead…

mdi-timer 6 April 2021 @ 11:57 6 Apr 2021 @ 11:57 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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