Robert Allbritton, the owner of Politico, is expanding his digital empire with the purchase of online news site Capital New York, reports Keach Hagey of The Wall Street Journal. … The move comes a little more than a month after the Washington media mogul agreed to sell his eight television stations for nearly $1 billion. When Mr. Allbritton announced his intention to explore such a sale in May, he said he planned to use the resources from it to further invest in Politico and other media. The acquisition of Capital New York … gives Mr. Allbritton a chance to extend to a new market Politico’s business model of free, ad-supported news combined with subscription products. He plans to increase Capital New York’s staff to more than 30 people from seven in the next month and roll out subscription offerings on topics such as New York City government, state government and media, according to executives from both companies.
“‘I have very big ambitions for this publication: to do in New York what we did in Washington with Politico,’ Mr. Allbritton said in a memo … Politico’s co-founder and executive editor, Jim VandeHei, will expand his duties to include serving as president of Capital New York [but will remain in D.C.]
… The site will continue to be edited by former New York Observer editors Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran, who founded it in 2010.
The acquisition is part of a broader expansion of Politico, which includes … a magazine. The site was founded in 2007 by Mr. VandeHei and fellow Washington Post alumnus John Harris, with Mr. Allbritton’s backing. … In 2010 [they] created Politico Pro, a digital subscription service, which today covers 10 areas, such as health care and energy … ‘We think it’s foolish to be generalists seeking a general audience,’ Mr. VandeHei said. Politico believes ‘a focused publication writing for a sophisticated audience can make money off ads and higher-end subscriptions from the get-go.'”