Did HuffPo influence new Gawker look? Or was it USA Today?

So Nick Denton’s redesigned the Gawker Media Empire, as they call it. Gabriel Snyder, ME, says the new “condensed format” allows for better viewing of the 50+ stories published across the network.

Seems like the new design is also intended to push more advertising through as “run of network”, rather than sell within specific categories, and to hawk more sign-ups to a Gawker daily email, which would give Gawker media the means to monetize a la Daily Candy.

Amusingly, while my first take was that the design had been influenced by The Huffington Post–lots o’ headlines, lots o’ photos- my second take is that USA Today is the true inspiration. 

In other words, scannability’s the game.

Just as with USA Today, which is so eminently scannable before zeroing in on a read, the Gawker media empire reader will be able to easily toggle between editions, flipping channels before alighting on a story she likes and clicking deeper. 

Is this jumping the shark–or pragmatic business in a deep recession?  I’d argue that Gawker jumped the shark long ago, back before Locke left, but that, like SNL, it’s one of those white whales that has enduring value.