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Roll Call Wants To Take On Defense One

Roll Call has launched a new defense blog — Topic A — which they tell us will feature a mix of “mix of policy analysis, commentary and incisive thought-leader discussions along with content contributed by sponsors.”

Nothing gets readers more excited than thought-leader discussions and sponsored content. But, looking closely at Roll Call’s release, maybe they don’t really care. Publisher Beth Bronder makes it a point to note she believes that “readers and advertisers” are looking for this kind of stuff. She’s probably 50 percent right. Defense is a lucrative advertising niche.

Topic A is being managed independently from the newsroom by Contributing Editors Taegan Goddard and Chris Riback, so the wall between editorial and business is still up for now, sort of. The blog will still draw from regular Roll Call content, it’s in RollCall.com’s header with all the other blogs and it has a big “presented by Boeing” label under the title. Its address? http://boeing.rollcall.com. Editor David Rapp says any sponsored content will be clearly labeled, but given the deep integration into the regular site… does it matter?

And if you’re counting, this is blog number twelve at RollCall.com. We’d been hearing that a defense-oriented blog was in the works to compete with Atlantic Media‘s still-to-launch Defense One, and it looks like this might be it. But judging from the team Defense One has already put together, competing with them is going to be a tall order—especially when advertisers are creating the content.

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