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Kinsley’s Walking Away From Atlantic Media’s Business Site

Nearly four months after he was brought in to build a new online business news site for Atlantic Media, Michael Kinsley has decided his heart’s not in, he tells Daily Finance. The site, which is still unnamed, was supposed to launch this month. The debut has now been scheduled for “some time in the spring,” though with Kinsley leaving, it could be later rather than sooner.

Ultimately, Kinsley acknowledged that he was a curious choice for the role of creating a business news site. Although he founded the online-only news and cultural mag Slate, Kinsley told Daily Finance’s Jeff Bercovici that he’s “not really obsessed with business.” Kinsley is perhaps best known for his political essays and editing The New Republic in the 1980s, as well as helping start CNN’s now-defunct Crossfire. A recent column of his in The Atlantic Monthly criticized the length of newspaper articles.

Kinsley’s change of heart came out of discussions with Justin Smith, who was given the added responsibilities of running the National Journal Group in addition to his role as president of Atlantic Consumer Media earlier this month. The search for a successor to Kinsley at the business site is on. No word on a short-list of candidates yet, but Kinsley said that he will help find the right person. The ideal editor will “be devoted to fast-breaking news and analysis of business issues” and come from a business reporting background.

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