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Press Release from National Journal
July 16, 2015
National Journal Announces Investment in Membership Services and Daily News Strategy; Plans to End Publication of Magazine at Year’s End
Evolving Business Doubles Down on Services and High Velocity Journalism for Washington AudienceChairman of Atlantic Media and owner of National Journal, David Bradley announced today that the National Journal magazine will suspend publication at year’s end as part of a larger strategy to deepen its investment in and increase services customized for the Washington market. Over the years, National Journal has evolved from a solely journalistic enterprise into a comprehensive provider of tools, services, and journalism to help Washington practitioners of policy and politics do their jobs more successfully. Today’s announcement is the next step in this evolution.
As the pace of news in Washington and the speed at which the National Journal audience consumes information grows, demands have shifted away from a weekly magazine to the higher-velocity work of the brand’s daily publications ““ National Journal Daily, Hotline, and NationalJournal.com. The decision to close the magazine allows for new investments in this journalism, led by Editor-in-Chief and President Tim Grieve, with enhanced daily and real-time news coverage and a redesigned website. National Journal Group CEO Tim Hartman continues to oversee the whole of the business.
The forty-six year old magazine will cease publication at the end of the year. Under editor Richard Just, it was nominated for its first National Magazine Award in over a decade.
“I’ve come to think of our journalism as the capstone to a quieter work underway, underneath. At its best, National Journal’s journalism may be the best thing we do. But, it rests, now, on a very stable, very smart and rapidly-expanding platform,” wrote Mr. Bradley in a memo to National Journal staff about the membership business.
President and Publisher Poppy MacDonald has been leading National Journal’s groundbreaking Membership since its launch in 2011. The business has since grown 38 percent with 1000 member organizations and accounts for more than half of National Journal’s total revenue, which is on track to grow more than 12 percent this year. In its mission to serve Washington policy practitioners with the tools and services needed to succeed in an ever more competitive environment, National Journal Membership provides unlimited and on-demand access to products embedded into member work streams to save time and increase efficiency.
“Our top priority is to put clear, concise, and trusted information in front of the Washington audience. We believe that doing so will serve both our members, who rely on that information to do their jobs more effectively, and our advertisers, who are seeking to reach that audience,” said Ms. MacDonald.
Other Membership offerings include Policy Brand Roundtable (PBR), which helps partners measure and build their brand in Washington. The most recent product addition is the Communications Council, created in 2014 to help Washington organizations reach their target audiences through communications best practices.
Mr. Hartman said, “It’s a new era of advocacy and communications for our core customers — Members of Congress, their staffs and other practitioners of politics and policy. The more we meet their emerging needs, the better our business has performed. This principle will guide our ongoing growth and expansion across digital media and membership in the Washington market.”
The focus of National Journal’s media products will continue to be on providing in-depth journalism to the Washington professional and will put an increased focus on utilities, including daily coverage, news alerts, and tools that support the brand’s core users inside the Beltway.
Magazine resources will be redirected to an enhanced National Journal Daily, a product highly valued by both audience and advertisers. The print and digital publication’s expansion will start with increased coverage of Congress powered by a growing team of dedicated journalists. The Daily will also feature improved data analysis, including daily graphics informing the day’s events in government.
In September, an updated digital platform will debut, featuring updates across NationalJournal.com for readers and members. The digital overhaul prioritizes mobile viewing and will allow for higher velocity news coverage, faster loading times and enhanced user experience across devices.
Building on the customized membership experience, members will benefit from a personalized recommendation engine powering relevant content delivery based on an individual’s job and interests. For advertisers, NationalJournal.com will launch new custom ad units, tools to understand and improve ad viewability, and enhanced native advertising distribution opportunities.
National Journal’s events arm will continue to produce a series of live forums each year totaling over one hundred member-only and news driven events featuring Washington policy and news makers.