Going from a biz weekly to a national website — within the same company
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Earlier this year, business journalist Kirsten Grind made a big career move — from covering banks for the Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle to writing about Wall Street for Portfolio.com, a national business news site.
But she never left Seattle, and she never left the employment of American City Business Journals. Her move was the first for a full-time journalist at the Charlotte-based company, and it shows how the company is trying to use its talent on a national level.
“She is now covering finance for us, with a focus on hedge funds, private equity and venture capital,” said Mark Pawlosky, who is editorial director of content strategy and development at American City and also based in Seattle, in a phone interview. “It came about after she had taken her leave to finish her book and came back and was looking for some new challenges and opportunities. At Portfolio, at the same time, we were looking for someone who could step in at the national level and take a look at the remaking of Wall Street, how money was reconstituting itself.”
Grind is perhaps the best-known business journalist at the company. Grind was part of a team named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2010 for coverage of the collapse of Washington Mutual and the foreclosure crisis. The book deal grew out of her reporting for the Seattle-based newspaper in 2008 and 2009. The coverage also won a Best in Business award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
Before she worked at the Business Journal, Grind was a writer at The Seattle Times covering biotechnology, the Port of Seattle and Snohomish County. Previously she was a business reporter and later, editor, at the largest daily newspaper in Northern Colorado. She is originally from San Diego, where most of her family still lives. She went to journalism school at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) and has worked in the field since then.
American City, which is owned by the Newhouse family, took over the Portfolio.com site after the business magazine shut its print edition. It now has a staff of seven, as well as freelancers and contractors.
Pawlosky says that the site could tap into using other reporters from ACBJ papers around the country in the future.
“We are certainly open to that, as we kind of flesh out our editorial strategy,” he said. “We have a lot of talented people, and some people have deep experience in covering industries that we want to cover.”
As for Grind, she is using her experience while at the Puget Sound Business Journal to cover venture capital, private equity and other money matters on a national basis.
“She had developed a great source network while she was doing the coverage of Washington Mutual,” said Pawlosky. “What we’re asking her to do is identify this new area and this new beat. And she has aggressively gone after it. She had a great Q&A this week with the head of Google Ventures, its venture capital business. and she has done some good reporting so far.
“I think the shift from writing for a print publication into a digital, more of a blogging environment, more of a 24/7 environment, is not an inconsequential transition, but she is doing a great job.”