The biggest merger you didn’t hear about today

May 20, 2013, 10:12 PM UTC
Tumblr’s David Karp: You like me. You really, really like me.


FORTUNE — By now I’m sure you’ve heard about today’s big merger news: Actavis (ACT) buying Warner Chilcott (WCRX).

Wait, did you think I was talking about Yahoo buying Tumblr? Here are some quick stats:

  • Price being paid for Warner Chilcott: $8.8 billion
    Price being paid for Tumblr: $1.1 billion
  • # of Warner Chilcott employees: 2,700
    # of Tumblr employees: 175
  • Warner Chilcott 2012 revenue: $2.5 billion
    Tumblr 2012 revenue: $13 million
  • # of online Actavis/Warner Chilcott stories today: 192
    # of online Yahoo/Tumblr stories today: 1,059

Notice anything horribly amiss? Particularly once we consider that Tumblr basically is the latest/greatest means for teens to express themselves, while Warner Chilcott develops products to help people manage serious diseases and prevent unwanted pregnancies.

And, to be clear, we here at Fortune are certainly part of the editorial imbalance. So far this site has already published three posts about Yahoo’s (YHOO) purchase of Tumblr, and none about Actavis buying Warner Chilcott (save for this one).

So why are we media folk so obsessed with the acquisition of a low-revenue blogging platform and so dismissive of an $11 billion combined revenue drug-maker? Four basic reasons:

1. It’s easier for most of *us* to understand what Tumblr makes than what Warner Chilcott makes.  Not how they make it (i.e., coding vs. petri dishes), but the finished product (online content vs. pills to treat for diseases the average writer doesn’t have).

2. Yahoo and Tumblr have young, telegenic CEOs (see here and here). Actavis and Warner Chilcott do not (see here and here).

3. There are far more tech-focused online media sites than there are healthcare-focused media sites. And I’m not just talking trades here. Even Fortune has a tech vertical, but not a healthcare one. Mostly because…

4. We largely cater to people who spend part of their day on the web, consuming content. Not surprisingly, those people tend to have a particular interest in things that involve the web and web content. It’s a huge built-in audience, and we reporters know that our bread is ultimately buttered by pageviews.

RELATED: Actavis joins the Fortune 500

There was a time, not too long ago, when media outlets could drive “what’s important” by page placement or big web headlines. But that time has passed, in an age of homepage-killing mobile apps, brand-killing social shares, etc.

So we give readers what they want, even if we don’t necessarily think it’s what they should want. It may mean we’re no longer elitist. Or, more likely, it means we’re no longer living up to our responsibilities… Sorry.

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