Tear Down This Chinese Wall – Thrillist Biz Booms With Daily Deals

ben lerer Tear Down This Chinese Wall   Thrillist Biz Booms With Daily DealsThe New York Times, which recently launched its own foray into the daily deal space, has a not-so-subtly envious profile of Thrillist today, pondering where the line is drawn between editorial and advertising.

Founder Ben Lerer is non-plussed. “That’s a very old media way of thinking about things,” Lerer, 29, co-founder and chief executive of Thrillist, told the NYT. “This is not a digital magazine that sells some stuff. This is the beginning of what a new media company looks like.”

The most interesting data point, buried way down at the bottom, is that Lerer expects Jack Threads, a members only shopping club that Thrillist acquired back in May of 2010, to bring in $20 million in revenue this year. That’s double its ad business from last year and half of the $40 million in revenue Lerer says he expects Thrillist to clock in 2011.

“We had an audience who trusted us and lots of evidence people did what we suggested,” Mr. Lerer told the NYT. “Why are we sending all the value to the people we write about editorially? Why can’t we capture some of that value ourselves?” We’re sure the Grey Lady couldn’t agree more, although her plan is put new walls up, not tear old ones down.