Watch out New York. Politico owner Robert Allbritton just took a bite out of the journalism industry there by purchasing Capital New York, an online news site created by Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran.
Politico‘s Executive Editor Jim VandeHei has been named President of the new venture. He will remain in his role at Politico in Washington and still spend the majority of his time there. Benson and McGeveran will remain as co-editors. Katherine Lehr will be VandeHei’s number 2 and will be moving to Manhattan. In the next month they will hire on two dozen new reporters, with more to follow. Cally Stolbach, central on Politico‘s business team, will split her time between Washington and New York as Capital‘s new Director of Business Development.
Things could turn into a bloodsport. Word on the street is that they’ll be poaching the “best and brightest” from New York publications. Inside sources explain to FishbowlDC that it’s clear they see weakness in the New York Times as they saw in WaPo in 2007. They think they can go into their core areas – city and state politics, media – and beat them at their own game by instituting a new one. “It’s game-on with the Post and Bezos,” said one source. “We all have different approaches and audiences, but the fight for dominance was just taken to a whole new level.”
See Allbritton’s lengthy memo. It was dispatched to staff last night just after midnight. Read more