Salon, the online cultural and political magazine, has signed an agreement with portal site and search engine Go.com, which is partially owned by the Disney Corporation, that will give the portal site book-related content in exchange for Salon's placement in Go.com's book section.
Although no money will change hands, the deal gives each site something it was looking for. Benefits for Salon include Disney's deep marketing pockets. In return, Go.com gains the credibility afforded by editorial content, something few portal sites can boast.
Among the partnership's other elements are a co-branded site (from which the two will share ad revenue) and mutual links. "There is something to be said for an association with a high-level portal," noted Andrew Ross, Salon's v-p of business and development. "It also d sn't hurt to have an association with Disney."
In one of the more curious developments, Go.com has a bookselling arrangement with Borders.com, Salon's exclusive bookseller, until Salon signed a high-profile agreement with Barnesandnoble.com.
The affiliations raise slippery sales issues, especially on the co-branded site. According to Ross, purchases made via the Go.com site and the co-branded page will go through Borders.com, while anything that comes through Salon proper will go to Barnesandnoble.com.
Offman Named to Beat
In an effort to expand its book coverage Craig Offman, formerly with Time magazine, has been named Salon's new publishing correspondent. Laura Miller, Salon's senior editor for books, told PW that Offman would focus on "books, authors and the publishing industry. It won't be trade reporting, but he'll cover trends, controversies -- whatever's interesting to readers and particularly to readers outside New York." Salon is located at www.salonmagazine.com.