Barely a year after The Atlantic Wire struck out on its own as The Wire, both the site and its staffers are getting folded back into TheAtlantic.com.
In an email to the staff, The Atlantic’s COO Bob Cohn and editor in chief James Bennet, who serve as co-presidents, conceded that “the business strategy behind separating The Wire from The Atlantic simply hasn’t proven out. Experimenting with new revenue streams to support our journalism…has been essential to our progress across the ever-shifting media landscape; so too has moving quickly to face the facts, and to adjust, when an experiment isn’t working as we’d hoped.”
The decision to re-integrate The Wire into its parent property was also an editorial one. “We think that joining [The Wire’s] aggressive, deft news coverage with The Atlantic’s ideas-driven journalism will provide a richer experience for The Atlantic’s readers, a firmer foundation for our ambitions to cover the news, and greater opportunities for growth for The Wire’s team,” wrote Cohn and Bennet.
There won't be any layoffs as a result of the site shuttering; the entire current staff of The Wire will form a news team on TheAtlantic.com, led by The Wire’s editor Dashiell Bennett. There will also be a new module on TheAtlantic.com for news headlines as part of a homepage redesign. The Wire’s homepage, however, will continue to exist—the site will curate news stories from both The Atlantic and other sources—as will its social media feeds.
The Atlantic Wire first launched in 2009 as an op-ed aggregation site. It later added more news and original reporting to the mix, and last November, dropped the “Atlantic” from its name and relaunched as a standalone site.
A spokesperson for the company said that The Atlantic’s other spin-off site, the urban planning-focused CityLab (formerly The Atlantic Cities), will continue to be an independent site.