Politico Buys Website to Compete With NY Times

Monday, 09 Sep 2013 11:07 AM

By Audrey Hudson

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Politico publisher Robert Allbritton has purchased a New York-based news website with ambitious plans to compete directly against major print institutions such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and city tabloids.

Purchase price was not disclosed.

The Washington-based news organization announced the purchase of Capital New York on Monday and says it plans to copy its successful Capitol Hill political coverage by making a substantial investment on the business end plus hiring additional staffers.

"I have very big ambitions for this publication: to do in New York what we did in Washington with Politico," Allbritton said in a memo to staff.

The media mogul says that goal will focus on coverage of city and state politics, the media, and other power centers.

Politico was founded six years ago by former Washington Post employees including Jim VandeHei and John Harris, and has become a profitable, successful and popular source of news with 6.6 million unique visitors a month, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Politico has 280 employees and the Capital New York staff is expected to grow from seven to 30 with the new product launching this fall. There are no plans to create a print edition.

VandeHei will be president of the New York company but will remain in Washington, and judging by his comments on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," other Washington staffers might also be pulling double-duty.

Story continues below video.

"We're going hit three topics in the beginning — policy and politics at city hall of Albany and of media," VandeHei said.

"In each one of those cases, we'll have more reporters and editors than any other publication, The New York Times included, and do things the way we've done them here at Politico, and we've had quite a bit of success in Washington," VandeHei said.

The New York Times reports that the purchase comes just six weeks after Allbritton sold seven television stations, including one Washington property for nearly $1 billion.

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