by ecorazzicontributor
Categories: Internet.

In a time when some green media companies are either shutting down or laying off, it’s great to hear of some that are actually doing quite the opposite.

Case in point is the Mother Nature Network — which was born in January 2009 during an economic hell-fest that was dicing shell-shocked businesses left and right. A little over a year later, and the online environmental news start-up is one of the top green sites online, with growing traffic and most importantly, growing revenue.

It’s that last part that has caught the attention of other online media giants looking to become profitable in a weak economy. In a recent interview with the Atlantic Journal-Constitution, MNN CEO Joel Babbit reveals that advertisers sponsor sections of the site — some for as much as $300,000/yr. From the article,

“Babbit borrowed from that early TV model and is now selling advertisers one year of exclusivity in 36 commercial categories. They include transportation, technology, lifestyle and business, and are akin to the way the Olympics sells exclusive rights to advertisers. Each advertiser can tell its story — often through a block of four or five different videos in the middle of a Web page.”

According to Babbit, MNN broke even last year and is looking to clear a $3 million profit for 2010. Not bad for a site that launched during one of the worst recessions ever.

“The value and effectiveness of MNN’s model is far superior to that offered by others,” said a representative for the company in the comments. “The fact that many of the world’s leading brands have signed on and that 100% of MNN’s original sponsors in 2009 renewed for 2010, says that many major corporations agree.”