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Ever since its inception in early 2007, upstart political news organization The Politico knew the date November 5, 2008 would roll around. That’s the day after the election, when popular interest in politics is bound to tail off considerably. So what’s the plan? More print. The company says it plans to publish four print editions per week, up from three, while expanding the target of the print edition to The White House and The Cabinet, beyond Capitol Hill. The new launch (which will coincide with a website redesign) will go live the day after the election. The company is also planning to add staffing, upping its total to 100, from its current 85.
While putting more emphasis on print may seem a little counter-intuitive, it makes more sense if you think of it as betting more heavily on the local, DC market. While popular interest in politics will fall, the business of Washington goes on for those inside the Beltway. As a NYT piece notes, the paper is the company’s biggest revenue generator (with the website close to parity), though no new numbers are given out. At the end of August, co-founder Jim VanDeHei said it had taken in $2.4 million in online ad sales. And the bulk of its advertisers, according to the article, are lobbyist groups hoping to influence politicians. Barring the election of a President with a deeply-held, stated disdain for lobbyists (take your pick), that business stays pretty constant.