The Atlantic to Expand While National Journal Contracts

Staff cuts at NJ, a new Washington bureau for The Atlantic.

The Atlantic will serve as the public face of Atlantic Media’s politics coverage, while National Journal will go behind a paywall as a niche product for members and subscribers. This was the gist behind the announcement today by Atlantic Media chairman and CEO David Bradley.

There’s a lot to take in. We’ll start with The Atlantic:

  • The publication now has a new Washington bureau. Yoni Appelbaum, currently the politics editor, will be bureau chief.
  • Accordingly, The Atlantic will add to its staff, both in editorial and on the business side. While some staffers will come over from National Journal, there will also be outside hires.
  • The pub seeks to expand staff and coverage of the White House, Capitol Hill, federal agencies and lobbying.
  • The Atlantic will also take over National Journal Live, NJ’s events operation.

Meanwhile, things looks pretty dark at The National Journal.

  • Staff cuts are coming. Bradley says about 25 percent of total NJ staff will be cut, with newsroom and magazine-related positions gone after January 2016.
  • About 20 staff on business and editorial are expected to move over to The Atlantic.
  • National Journal’s focus is shifting to services and custom-created products, becoming something resembling a research/data analysis/consulting firm

In retrospect, the shuttering of National Journal’s 46-year-old magazine was the early warning system for NJ.