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Your Plumber Can’t Save You Now

Last September, I was standing in James Lileks’ lawn at his 50th birthday party, a classy event that happened to overlap with the Republican National Convention, when I spotted Pajamas Media co-founder Roger L. Simon. More to the point, I spotted his posse. Simon was being trailed by at least five cameramen in matching “PajamasTV” shirts, who set about filming … well, not that much — mostly some interviews with party guests and a performance by John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting.

“Hrm,” I thought. “They must have a ton of start-up capital for PajamasTV.”

Today we learn the other side of this story, as PajamasMedia tells the conservative bloggers who signed up with PJM’s blog ad service (launched in 2005) that this phase of the company is coming to an end.

Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom posted the Dear John letter from Simon.

[W]e have decided to wind down the Pajamas Media Blogger and advertising network effective March 31, 2009. The PJM portal and the XPressBlogs will continue as is.

Since our ad relationship continues for the time being, you should note that in order to be paid for the 1st quarter of 2009, you must leave the current Pajamas ads up until 12:01AM April 1. We will be sending you information in mid-March on removing the ads. As of April 1, 2009, you will be free to arrange syndication or re-sale deals.

We thank you very much for participating during the formative years of Pajamas Media and we look forward to working with you in other ways. One of those is, of course, Pajamas TV. If you have any ideas in that regard, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Roy Edroso has the rest of the details, and the intra-blog sniping, which peaked with a shockingly snotty letter from Simon in which he explained that the ad business had been losing money, so:

… people getting their quarterly checks from PJM were getting a form of stipend from us in the hopes that advertisers would start to cotton to blogs and we could possibly make a profit. Didn’t happen. No wonder those people are kicking and screaming now that they are off the dole. I might too. [What's their beef? I thought most of them were free marketeer libertarians or something.-ed. Go figure.]

Leaving aside the fact that bloggers weren’t exactly told that they were a bunch of welfare queens — who had been aggressively courted by PJM, remember — Ann Althouse nails the other problem here. PajamasTV’s content is significantly worse than that of, say, BloggingHeadsTV and ReasonTV*.

*Full disclosure: I am a contributing editor at Reason magazine.

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