Pollstar’s sale to the Oak View Group has hit a snag — an expensive website overhaul that’s nearly a year passed due and not quite ready for prime time.
Pollstar’s two websites — pollstarpro.com and pollstar.com —are supposed to be merged into a new site that will finally allow Pollstar to operate on mobile devices and include new search capabilities that better connect Pollstar’s comprehensive database and news archive. But the site’s development hasn’t been without its headaches — it’s a year late, seen its development costs spiral into six-figure overruns and brought about the November exit of Pollstar’s Chief Technology Officer Ivan Luk, who left the company right before Pollstar began privately beta-testing the site.
While Pollstar officials are happy with the progress they’ve made with the site and even demoed the new platform at the Pollstar Live Conference earlier this month, officials with OVG are unsure what do with the expensive website project and are trying to figure out how to integrate it into OVG’s other properties like Venues Today, which is looking to overhaul its own website.
“Discussion over the site and what it has cost Pollstar to build versus how valuable the project is to OVG is certainly ongoing,” one insider told Amplify. “A ton of money has gone into the new site, and so there’s a lot of emotional investment. It’s unclear if (Tim) Leiweke has the same emotional attachment to the website as Gary Smith and Gary Bongiovanni.”
Meanwhile, editor Ray Waddell is continuing to take on more responsibilities at Venues Today and is now overseeing the newsroom and freelancers, while publisher Linda Deckard is slowly diminishing her role and the staff prepare for an eventual move to Los Angeles. Waddell has already implemented cost saving measures at the company including cutting travel costs and a possible end of the company’s Huntington Beach office lease after it expires.