Sweet! Is Sugar the future of publishing?

November 19, 2009: 10:34 AM ET

The women-centric collection of sites is shaking up the web -- and traditional media.

Lisa Sugar's celebrity blog morphed into an online empire. Photo: Sugar Inc.

The state of affairs in publishing is beyond depressing. Unless, of course, by publishing you mean the shiny new online-only startups who are behaving as if it were boom times for journalism. An example is Sugar Publishing, the 3 1/2-year old blogging company that focuses on young women. Run by the husband-and-wife team Brian and Lisa Sugar, the San Francisco company has 12 sites, 114 people, and boasts an online audience that's approaching that of Time Warner's (TWX) (almost 8 million monthly visitors in October for Sugar versus 12 million for People, says comScore).

It gets better. According to Brian Sugar, his little company will be profitable this quarter as well as all of next year. What's more, only half the company's revenues come from advertising against the work of its journalists -- a shocking figure given that traditional media companies get, well, all of their revenues from their scribbling. "Editorial is a marketing expense to drive people to something bigger," he says. More

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