Venerable newspaper The Washington Post has announced the formation of a new online publishing unit dubbed The Slate Group which will produce online-only magazines, including Slate,TheRoot.com,The Big Money, and possible other spinoffs from Slate. The move may mark another moment of transition for journalism as it struggles to cope with the advent of digital media and declining revenue from its traditional print business.
"The Slate Group is an Internet start-up within the framework of an existing media company," said Slate editor Jacob Weisberg, in a statement. "The writers and editors here have over 250 years of combined experience producing Internet-only media. In expanding into new areas, we intend to draw on everything that we’ve learned collectively about what works on the Web."
The Slate Group hopes to expand the company’s online presence by developing new publications that appeal to different demographic groups. New publications may be developed in-house as offshoots of Slate, or purchased from other parties.
Slate started out under Microsoft ownership in the mid-90s as part of MSN; in 1998 the site attempted to establish a $20/year subscription fee, which it dropped in less than a year due to sluggish uptake as well as increased revenue from online advertising. The Washington Post Company purchased Slate in late 2004 for an undisclosed amount in an effort to bolster the company’s online presence.
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