Adrants Gets Cozy With Watershed Publishing


So yes it's true, Adrants has sold a percentage of its soul to Watershed Publishing, the company behind MarketingVOX (which, back in the day, I had a hand in founding), MediaBuyerPlanner and Marketing Charts. But, not a majority of it's sole so things will remain as they have always been around here and under my control.

In terms of the deal, Adrants will benefit from having an actual company with actual people behind it who will improve Adrants' infrastructure, sales and growth. Adrants isn't just a little ad blog any more - and hasn't been for quite some time. Now, in partnership with Watershed, all four publications reach an audience twice the size of Advertising Age's online properties and 15 percent larger than the sum of those from Nielsen Business Media's advertising properties which includes AdWeek, BrandWeek and MediaWeek. Hey, we're just saying. We still love all of you.

Chest thumping aside, we will not loose our roots which is why the deal was structured the way it was leaving majority control in the hands of myself and Co-Editor Angela Natividad. We won't let anything like that happen. Well, unless someone offers up millions. Then we'll just quit, buy a yacht and travel the world for the rest of our lives.

Teaming up with Watershed is a natural fit for Adrants and one that's unofficially been in place since 2005 when Watershed began handling ad sales for Adrants. The deal will incent ad revenues to increase and for all of us to share in the profit of those increases. Oh sure, it's all just on paper right now but after having worked with Watershed and the individuals behind it since 2003, I have every confidence this deal will improve the product for those that produce it and for all of you who read it and have come to enjoy it.

Personally, I truly appreciate all of you who have been reading Adrants and leaving comments for so long. It's your input, comments and the work you do in the industry that is the reason Adrants can be what it is. Without you, it's just a couple of lunatics bitching about the industry's infatuation with social media or its reliance on television as a primary medium or the recent inane Second Life land grab. OK, so we're still going to bitch but it's more fun when you bitch right alongside the two of us.

And just so it's clear we're not going to become some officious, mainstream media-style publication, we promise you typos will continnuew to haappen, campaigns will gleefully be trashed and the words shit and fuck will remain firmly planted in our vocabulary. And, we will continue to bring you what you want. Cool campaigns. Interesting trends. Insightful (ok, snarky) commentary. And, of course, racy imagery for no apparent reason.

So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks to all of you who read us. To all of you who leave comments. To all of you who send us tips. To all of you who dare to send us your work for review. And to all of the fine companies that pay good money to advertise here.

Adrants is five and a half years old. I never thought it would reach year one. OK so maybe I did but I never thought 15,000 of you would read it every day and another 15,000 would actually subscribe to the newsletter version of the site. Or that 17,000 of you would add it to your newsreaders. Or that several hundred of you would consume it via Twitter. Or that 2,000 of you would sign up for our social network AdGabber. I thank you for that. Angela thanks you for that. We both plan to continue serving you what you come here for: marketing and advertising news with attitude.

The official press release is below for posterity sake.

Watershed Publishing Acquires Minority Interest in

Thetford Center, VT (OCTOBER 17, 2007) Watershed Publishing LLC (, the parent company of several business-to-business trade titles including MarketingVOX, has entered into an agreement to purchase a minority stake in the popular advertising and marketing trade site Adrants ( The deal - a combination of cash, equity and sales commission concessions - is set to close at the end of November, valuing at $750,000. Adrants gets 370,000 unique visits per month and 680,000 page views per month.

Watershed Publishing already owns such titles as MarketingVOX, MediaBuyerPlanner and MarketingCharts. The firm also sells ads for several additional partner sites in the sector. All told, Watershed Publishing now either owns or controls advertising space in three of the top ten (and five of the top twenty) online publications geared to marketers and advertisers, according to Hitwise. Watershed's sites reach an audience of marketers roughly twice the size of Advertising Age's online properties and 15 percent larger than the sum of those from Nielsen Business Media, the two closest networks of relevant sites.

Watershed Publishing's first site was launched in 2002 at the nadir of the internet "bust" by five well-known internet marketing and agency executives, including Olivier Travers, the firm's current COO, and Steve Hall, who later founded Mr. Hall left Watershed in 2004, although Watershed has conduct ad sales for Adrants since 2005.

Watershed Publishing, a self-funded, closely-held venture, is headquartered in Thetford Center, VT and has a staff of 22 people. It also publishes titles in the healthcare and defense sectors.

For additional information, please contact Tig Tillinghast at (802) 785-4260 [tig(at)] or Steve Hall (978) 448 - 5028 [].

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (8)     File: Announcements     Oct-17-07  
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Chest thumping understandable, congratulations are certainly in order... Building something of value is no easy feat these days. Best of luck as you continue to grow!

Posted by: Burst Labs on October 17, 2007 12:13 PM

Dude, it's soul, not sole. (That's okay, since you're no longer sole owner, though!)

Posted by: blippety mcblipp on October 17, 2007 01:47 PM

Dude, it's soul, not sole. (That's okay, since you're no longer sole owner, though!)

Posted by: blippety mcblipp on October 17, 2007 01:48 PM

Congratulations from Ads of the World! :)

Posted by: ivan from Ads of the World on October 17, 2007 05:07 PM

Congrats All! Sounds like a great fit.

Posted by: Brad Waller on October 17, 2007 08:02 PM


Posted by: Angela on October 17, 2007 09:51 PM

Huge congrats Steve!

Posted by: Travis on October 21, 2007 05:29 PM

Way to go, Steve. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Jason on October 23, 2007 06:14 PM

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