Politico Owner Buys Capital New York

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 9 2013 10:17 AM

Politico Owner Buys NYC News Site, Plans Politico-Style Domination of Big Apple


Screenshot of Capital New York's home page on Monday morning

Politico owner and publisher Robert Allbritton has turned his attention to the Big Apple, purchasing Capital New York, an online news site launched in 2010 by a pair of former New York Observer editors. Politico's Dylan Byers not-so shockingly has the details:

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 centers, 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." ...
With reporters deployed across Manhattan's power centers as well as up in Albany, Capital will now go head-to-head with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the New York City tabloids. Whether it can succeed in such a saturated market is an open question.

The plan will be to hire another two dozen people to join the Capital's current staff of eight employees. It's unclear exactly how much synergy there will be between Capital and its older brother inside the Beltway, but right off the bat there will be a noteworthy amount of cross-pollination. Capital's founding editors—Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran—will continue to run things on the ground, but Politico executive editor Jim VandeHei will be named president of the soon-to-be beefed up Capital operation (in addition to his day job), and a pair of other Politicos will join the New York publication on the business side of things.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 


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