Time.com, Atlantic Media to boost online business coverage
By Matthew Schwartz
New York--Two top media brands are developing new online channels to cover global business. Time.com last month debuted Time Business, while Atlantic Media Co. will later this year launch a digital global business brand.
The niche websites are just the latest examples of an increasingly vertical strategy that's now being deployed across the Web by media companies of all stripes. “We're pretty confident there is a fairly singular opportunity right now to launch a new digital brand for business executives,” said Kevin Delaney, who recently joined Atlantic Media Co. as editor-in-chief of the as yet unnamed website. He did not have a specific launch date for the site.
Delaney, former managing editor of WSJ.com, will be based in New York rather than Atlantic Media's Washington, D.C. headquarters. Offices for the website are planned in Asia and Europe. The website will feature original content, news analysis, aggregated information and data on global markets and world economies, Delaney said.
The decision to launch a business brand comes nearly two years after Atlantic Media suspended plans for a business-related website after a false start with Michael Kinsley. Atlantic Media seems to have more momentum this time around as indicated by the recently announced hire of Zach Seward, also from the Journal, where he oversaw the newspaper's social media efforts.
The new business brand is first global venture launched by the Atlantic Media Co. since its chairman, David Bradley, established the media company in 1997.
“We're doing something that's digitally native, and it's journalistic. We think that we are developing the right formula to reach readers,” Delaney said. “The site will be designed with a focus on how people consume their media today, which is instantly, digitally, [via mobile channels] and socially.” He said it was too early to provide specifics about the website.
Time Business, which was introduced in January, is the latest wrinkle in Time.com's vertical strategy. Within the last year, the website has rolled out a handful of subject-specific websites, such as LightBox, Moneyland and NewsFeed.
“We've seen that [the vertical strategy] has really been effective in growing our audience and telling the news of the day in a way that's attracting people all over the world,” said Catherine Sharick, managing editor of Time.com.
Time.com garnered 11 million monthly unique visitors in 2011, an 11% increase compared with 2010, according to comScore.
Time Business features coverage of Wall Street, technology, media and small and medium business. It includes links to corporate siblings Time.com and CNNMoney.com. Some of the stories that originate on Time Business may be promoted in the print version of Time, according to Sharick.
Time Business is in the process of beefing up the website's existing content with online video and more social media, Sharick said.
“It's a blown out vertical,” she added. “Before we talked a lot about public policy, economics and finance, and we still do those stories. but now we're trying to explain these stories to everyday readers: What's happening at JPMorgan or Facebook, and how is that going to affect me?”