OLD Media Moves

The economics of the Quartz biz news site

September 13, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Ken Doctor writes for the Nieman Journalism Lab about the upcoming business news site Quartz, launching later this month from The Atlantic.

Doctor writes, “Aimed at the ‘global business elite,’ it begins with a staff of 25, about 20 of them journalists. But those two dozen staffers, largely based in New York, have a significant Atlantic Media bench to call on. The leadership team that revived the moribund Atlantic Monthly, rethought National Journal, and launched government tech site NextGov has been spending a fair amount of time on its new baby. Beyond startup, Quartz has audience, analytics, advertising, finance, and other Atlantic Media assets to call on, and that makes it bigger than it may first seem.

“But it’s still a couple dozen insurgent journalists facing the behemoths of the business news business. Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, and Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal buy journalists by the thousands, and the Financial Times is truly a powerhouse global player. So editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney, late of the Journal, must think niche. Ah, but what niche? And how will he make it intriguing enough for that ‘elite’ that already feels glutted by their overflowing daily news diets? Delaney has hired an impressive staff, including The Economist’s Gideon Lichfield, former Nieman Lab staffer Zach Seward, and Foreign Policy’s Steve LeVine.

“You can’t pick a better category of news than business for advertising revenue. It, along with tech, still fetches the highest rates for publishers, with $40-100 CPMs (cost-per-thousand rates). That’s why Rupert Murdoch is making The Wall Street Journal the center (‘The newsonomics of the News Corp split’) of his news company spinoff and buying additional business news assets in Australia. That’s why The New York Times has pushed its business envelope, even as it has trimmed coverage in other areas.”

Read more here.

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