The Atlantic is shutting down its spinoff TheWire.com, and folding staffers into the magazine and TheAtlantic.com.
Important news on the digital front: In a couple of weeks, we will bring the staff of The Wire back into The Atlantic’s fold. We are very proud of what The Wire has accomplished editorially, and we think that joining its aggressive, deft news coverage with The Atlantic’s ideas-driven journalism will provide a richer experience for The Atlantic’s readers, a firmer foundation for our ambitions to cover the news, and greater opportunities for growth for The Wire’s team. This decision is also driven by a recognition that the business strategy behind separating The Wire from The Atlantic simply hasn’t proven out. Experimenting with new revenue streams to support our journalism – like experimenting with new forms of reporting, storytelling, and distribution — has been essential to our progress across the ever-shifting media landscape; so too has moving quickly to face the facts, and to adjust, when an experiment isn’t working as we’d hoped.
The Atlantic Wire was launched in 2009 and rebranded itself as The Wire last year. The decision to rename the site the exact same name as one of the most iconic TV shows of all time was probably the first sign that something was amiss.
You can read Bennet and Cohn’s full note below.