I Give It Eighteen Months themessenger.com

Earlier this week, the people behind the Hill launched a new, crappy web publication called the Messenger; Joshua Benton of NiemanLab has a good roundup of its Daily Mail-esque strategy. But, to me, something seemed missing. When Semafor debuted last year, it needed a big gimmick and chose an irritating story format, much like Axios’s bullet-point lists or the Outline’s bizarre stacks.

The Messenger was just a WordPress blog. It did not have a gimmick. That is not how you launch an online media brand, you dummies. You oafs.

Alas, the crisis has been averted, according to Darren Samuelsohn, Maggie Severns, and Steve Reilly:

Introducing The Messenger Scale, a new system designed to cut through the noise and help you understand what really matters in the news.

It’ll be like the “Richter scale” for measuring earthquakes, but in this case we will be assigning a simple 1-10 number based on input from our panel of more than 80 “news seismologists” from the worlds of politics, policy, law, history, academia and media. Our panel spans the entire political spectrum in order to provide readers with a balanced response to major news events.

Investors gave them $50 million to start a news site and this is the best they could come up with.

Update: Matt Sephton:

Why would they publish a news story that scores low on their scale?

A very good question, indeed. If the release of a report into an investigation of the last president and the release of a different report about the current president both scored below a five, out of ten, what would be the score for new beer packaging, and why would the Messenger publish something so inconsequential?