The publisher of well-known political news outlet Politico just made a big move that will make existing New York media players uncomfortable…
It is buying the website Capital New York for an undisclosed sum, per Politico’s own report.
Capital New York focuses on the politics, media, and culture of New York City, and its new owner plans to make a substantial investment to expand the site. It was founded by two former New York Observer editors, and it retains some of that paper’s insidery sensibility.
From Politico (note that Robert Albritton is Politico’s publisher):
The acquisition is Allbritton’s first since he reached an agreement to sell his television holdings in July. His goal: to apply the POLITICO business model to New York City and “focus laser-like on New York and its power centres, including the media, city and state politics, culture and business.”
“I have very big ambitions for this publication: to do in New York what we did in Washington with POLITICO,” he wrote in a memo to POLITICO staff late Sunday night. “We are making a substantial investment to sharpen the focus of Capital and vastly expand its reportorial presence.”
To that end, Allbritton is planning to hire more than two dozen people in the coming weeks — Capital currently has eight employees, including a managing editor and four full-time reporters — and to relaunch the website in the fall.
Capital editors Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran have published their own note to readers:
Right out of the gate, on the business and operational side, Jim VandeHei will serve as President, while continuing his primary role at POLITICO. And we’re pleased to welcome two more POLITICO veterans into the fold. Katherine Lehr will move to New York to join the company as our Vice President of Operations, and Cally Stolbach will come on board as Director of Business Development.
There will be lots more to tell you in the coming weeks and months as Capital enters this next stage. First and most important, though: thank you. We’re more grateful than we’re comfortable trying to express here for your attention and feedback and support, without which we’d never have made it to this point.
With Politico’s experience in building a powerhouse, and its deep pocketbook, Capital becomes a much more competitive player in the New York media landscape.
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