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Washington Post-owned Slate Group is closing down The Big Money, the business commentary spinoff it launched two years ago, saying the site wasn’t profitable. The belief when The Big Money launched in 2008 was that the financial crisis augered well for a business media site with Slate‘s “authority and tone.”
But in a statement provided to us, Slate Group editor-in-chief Jacob Weisberg and publisher John Alderman say the site was “not pointed toward profitability on a fast enough timetable,” adding that they “struggled to grow the site’s traffic to carry enough ad inventory to run a profitable business.”
Weisberg and Alderman say the issues were unique to the Big Money, noting that overall the Slate Group had “a strong first half,” with revenue up 26 percent during the first six months of the year. They also say that Slate’s other spinoffs — TheRoot.com and ForeignPolicy.com — are “all doing well.”
Worth noting, however, that in May, when Weisberg said that revenues were up 52 percent at the Slate Group during the first quarter, he also harped that “in a time when most publishers are cutting back on web journalism, The Slate Group is expanding” — a statement which doesn’t quite stand anymore.
Slate does say that it will still be covering business. The Big Money site will now redirect to a “Slate Business” landing page, which will include “new Slate Business content plus highlights from the TBM archive.” The Big Money editor Jim Ledbetter is joining Slate as a full-time, staff business writer, while publisher Brendan Monagahan will be a VP of business development, in charge of developing alternative revenue streams and partnerships.