New York Magazine is molding another of its coverage areas into a stand-alone brand.
Next month, the privately held media company is launching Intelligencer, an expanded version of its current Daily Intelligencer section that mainly covers politics and business news and sends a related daily newsletter. A spokeswoman said the new Intelligencer will be along the same lines of Vulture and The Cut, now sites under the New York umbrella, covering entertainment and fashion, respectively, that started off as simple verticals or blogs on the homepage and are now tentpoles of coverage.
While there are “for now” no plans to give Intelligencer its own URL, it will get its own tab, start to incorporate tech vertical Select All, along with coverage of politics, business, media and innovation, and get a new somewhat “experimental” homepage come October, according to New York’s digital director Ben Williams.
“Politics has been a huge part of our coverage in the last 10 to 15 years and it’s just something that’s grown and grown and grown, so [the new Intelligencer] is sort of the full expression of that,” Williams said.
Traffic from Daily Intelligencer drives 10 million unique visitors a month to New York’s six owned sites.
Beyond there being a growing audience for political coverage and tech coverage, subjects that are more entwined than ever, Williams said New York’s model of focused solo brands within the larger New York site, which Williams said is now something of “an incubator,” plays well with readers and advertisers.
“The stand-alone brands allows us to focus the audience and the advertising and the Internet, historically, has kind of lent itself to focus on specific subjects, while New York Magazine is historically kind of a general interest brand,” Williams explained. “Making Intelligencer a stand-alone site allows the sales team to focus on corporate brands more, finance, pharmaceutical, automotive — we’ve had those categories before but not to the same degree that we’ve had fashion and entertainment.”
Intelligencer will also launch with an expanded team. New York has brought Josh Barro from Business Insider as a business columnist; Zak Cheney-Rice from Mic as a reporter covering race and identity; and Sarah Jones from The New Republic as a reporter covering progressive politics and policy. Current senior staffers and critics of New York will also be contributing more regularly to the new Intelligencer.
As for whether the expanded vertical has anything to do with talk that New York was looking for an outside capital infusion to accelerate its growth ambitions, Williams admitted he wasn’t the ideal person to ask, but said “no” anyway. He added that plans for Intelligencer “have been in the works for some time.”
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