Psst - Big Tip: Smoking Gun Gets Brand New Site
Turner hired Funny Garbage to transform The Smoking Gun, which has been posting salacious documents, breaking stories, and celebrity embarrassments since 1997, into a viable 21st century news and entertainment hub with vastly increased advertising revenue. Turner acquired the site as part of a larger acquisition of the Court TV cable network.
The Smoking Gun had not been redesigned in over ten years and the site was running without even the very basics of a modern site: a Content Management System, the ability to archive stories, or a page layout to fit the size of today’s standard monitors. Our challenge included a complete overhaul starting with a visual brand refresh, an entirely new user interface and information organization, and a customized Drupal Content Management System.
First, we divided the site into user friendly sections, created a style guide which included a new logo and brand guide, and even added new features such as a “Random Demand Section” to showcase shocking celebrity performance demands and a breaking stories blog called “Buster”. Next we integrated the site into Turner's ad publishing and analytics systems, streamlined their reports and images, created a database, and made it possible to upload hundreds of mug shots with a simple batch capture tool. Additionally, we streamlined the site’s game creation tool to enable the editorial staff to publish new versions of one of their most popular hits: Mug Shot Matching Game.
FG was able to transform The Smoking Gun into a viable modern web brand, keeping both the original founding editor, and it's new corporate owners at Turner, happy and productive.