The Washington Post Co. has sold key assets of its Legi-Slate Inc. legislative tracking service to Congressional Quarterly Inc. for an undisclosed price.
Legi-Slate, which operates a comprehensive, searchable database covering federal legislation, regulations, news and analysis, will sell its customer list to CQ, the District-based news, research and publishing firm. Legi-Slate will then go out of business, said its president, Christopher M. Schroeder.
CQ will also acquire Legi-Slate's customer service processes, which provided research and analysis tailored to particular clients' needs. "They have been the market leader in that area," said CQ's president and publisher, Robert W. Merry. The Post did not disclose what will happen to Legi-Slate's state government tracking service.
The 20-year-old Legi-Slate service was a casualty in part of the Internet's soaring growth, Schroeder said. While Legi-Slate struggled unsuccessfully for the past year to translate its extensive archives for Internet use, CQ was preparing its fee-based Internet site, launched at the end of 1998. Free public and private legislative information also proliferated on the Web. "Being on the Internet is a prerequisite," Schroeder said.
Legi-Slate's payroll ranged from about 100 to 150 full- and part-time employees, with peak employment when state legislatures were in session. Schroeder said the company is assisting employees in finding new jobs and hopes some will be hired by CQ. His future plans are not settled, he said.
Legi-Slate was part of a Post business unit -- including the Washington Post and Newsweek Web sites -- that had combined revenue of $2.7 million and an operating loss of $13.1 million in the first quarter of 1999. "It's pretty small in the scheme of things," said David J. Winters, senior vice president and portfolio manager of Franklin Mutual Advisers in Short Hills, N.J., which invests in Washington Post Co. stock.