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 Audience

Chair­man 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.