Media Moves

American Lawyer papers reorganize their journalists into themes

August 1, 2016

Posted by Chris Roush


ALM MediaDavid Uberti of Columbia Journalism Review writes about how the ALM Media papers, which includes American Lawyer, have reorganized their editorial staffs into themed desks across newsrooms.

Uberti writes, “ALM’s creation of what it calls a ‘global newsroom’ in some ways mimics the strategy mainstream chains like Gannett have pursued by buying up additional titles to create efficiencies and gain scale. ALM is centralizing business operations and editing of its publications in North America, London, and Hong Kong in the hope of creating more digital revenue from farther-reaching advertising and more comprehensive subscription offerings that span topic areas.

“It was a drastic step for the company, which over the past three decades grew from its flagship magazine, The American Lawyer, to a collection of dozens of publications, a research division, and an events business—several hundred employees, including 170 journalists. A private equity firm bought ALM for $417 million in July 2014. Months later it acquired an insurance industry publisher in an attempt to link together two tightly connected industries. More acquisitions could be in the works.

“The difficulties of managing geographically diverse publications are many. ALM’s primary advantage in this regard is that its outlets cover a narrow set of tightly interwoven topics that it organizes into verticals: law, insurance, finance, consulting, and real estate. Still, there’s obvious tension in executing such a plan for a network of outposts with deep local ties. The challenge is to produce local coverage that has national or international appeal. ”

Read more here.

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