Last December, Politico CEO Jim VandeHei engineered a re-launch of Capital New York, the news site that Politico’s publisher had purchased in September. The re-boot involved hiring more staffers, going heavy on policy coverage in Albany and in New York City, and promoting premium subscription services in its core “verticals.” Media folks, always on the lookout for functional news business models, are keeping an eye on the experiment.
Perhaps quite aware that he’s being watched, VandeHei this morning dropped a memo on the Politico PR blog citing the venture’s “early success.” The news:
1) Some of the “largest companies and institutions in New York have purchased bulk subscriptions to our coverage,” writes VandeHei, noting that subscription sales are running ahead of “expectations.”
2) The venture has brought on Andrew Sollinger, managing director of the Americas at the Financial Times, to guide Capital New York’s business operations.
3) Capital New York is expanding into real estate and energy, and will seek out editors and reporters in that area. Also, it’s going to hire another media staffer — an addition will leave Capital New York with 2.5 editors and four reporters — Alex Weprin, Joe Pompeo, Johana Bhuiyan, Nicole Levy — on media coverage, according to Capital New York co-editor Tom McGeveran. Total editorial staffing at Capital New York, according to its online masthead, stands at 22, a figure that’ll jump to 26 with the new hires. At the time of acquisition, there were seven editorial staffers, though two of them — current co-editors McGeveran and Josh Benson — handled business duties as well.
As far as subscriptions to the premium Capital New York Media Pro newsletter, VandeHei writes this: “A number of large media companies were among our first big subscribers and our morning and afternoon ‘Media Pro’ newsletters are rightly seen as must-reads for the major players in our space.”