Media Following the Money
posted by November 20 at 11:36 AMon
Back in March, a media expert named John McManus told me that he sees a journalistic future in which newspapers are outpaced by specialty blogs.
He envisions newsrooms being “depopulated” as these online ventures become profitable through advertising revenue and “micropayments” (charging, say, five cents a view for certain newsy offerings). Getting there is going to involve “a pretty bumpy middle,” McManus says, but on the other side could be work for newspaper employees… who may lose their current jobs in the transition.
Today, just nine months after McManus made that prediction, the Washington Post lost two of its top political reporters to… a new specialty blog. (Actually, it’s being described as a “multi-platform company,” one that is “anchored on the Web” and “just does politics.”)
I don’t understand the business model yet, but the yet-to-be-named venture has been given a ton of cash by something called Albritton Communications—enough cash, apparently, to make salary offers that two of the most highly-paid and respected political journalists in the business couldn’t refuse.
They’ve been given an impressive budget to go out and hire roughly six additional top, top political reporters (expect another big announcement/hire soon) at salaries competitive with those at the nation’s top newspapers. They are currently in talks to steal away top reporters from networks, magazines and newspapers… [The aim is] to take on the political coverage of the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Yet another thing for newspapers to worry about: Blogs with enough cash to poach their best reporters.