Pay-to-Play to Played Out: OctoMom and her Internet Fame
Think the saga of OctoMom is played out? RadarOnline.com sure doesn't.
The gossip-focused website has written 56-stories to date on Nadya Suleman, and have helped the fame-hungry mother of 14 become "a media sensation," explains the LA Times. The site averages two OctoMom stories a day, with 5 gracing their virtual page-space on Friday alone, among them an interview with Suleman, who said she gained 130 pounds during here pregnancy with the octuplets. In the video posted on the site, Suleman said: "I've never in my life been so big and swollen." (She means her belly, of course, not her head. Or ego. Or lips.)
Now the site boasts Suleman is blogging exclusively for them--although someone might want to tell the 33-year-old Whittier woman that blogging isn't done with a pen and a legal pad.
RadarOnline.com is a tabloid site in the truest sense; they are paying the Suleman family to give them interviews ($40k for Friday's video, for example) and are, to some extent, driving up the price of competition for stories like that of local legend OctoMom. The site's parent company, AMI, runs some familiar paper tabloids--National Enquirer and Star, among others--but hasn't had much toehold in the online arena, previously deferring to celeb scoop powerhouses like Perez Hilton and TMZ, who dominate the market.
Ignoring the web and focusing on dying print media has been costly for AMI, but putting so many chips down on the Suleman saga might not be a long-term winning strategy. Favorite gossip destination Defamer just folded into Gawker's parental embrace, so just how long they can hold on to the hits is hard to say--especially if it's a pay-to-play model. And especially if a story like OctoMom gets played out.