Atlantic Tries A Business Site Again; WSJ's Delaney Will Lead Editorial

Nearly two years after Atlantic Media Company suspended plans for a business site, the company is back at it with nothing less that what Justin Smith calls “our most important new launch since The Atlantic Monthly in 1857.” This version, planned for later this year, will focus on global business with Kevin Delaney as editor-in-chief.

Delaney, a star at the Wall Street Journal, left as managing editor of The Wall Street Journal (NSDQ: NWS) Online to lead the new venture, which will be based in New York rather than Atlantic’s Washington DC headquarters.
The premise/promise: a “digital-first brand” — to “provide high-quality content and services to business executives navigating the increasingly complex global economy.” Offices are planned in Asia and Europe. (The announcement, posted below, comes just ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos.)

The last time Atlantic went in this direction, the effort was headed by Slate founder Michael Kinsley, who is a brilliant editor but lacked a business background. The launch was delayed multiple times before Kinsley left and Atlantic finally admitted in mid-2010 that it was suspending efforts.

Atlantic Media was formed by David Bradley in 1999 after the National Journal Group owner acquired the venerable Atlantic. The magazine’s digital expansion and financial turnaround under Bradley and Smith has attracted considerable attention.

They’ve been searching for ways to expand. This is a potentially lucrative area and tackling it without the costs of print attached could pay off; the lack of print doesn’t make it an inexpensive start-up proposition, though.

I’m not sure I see a stunning need for another business leadership publication but I look forward to being proven wrong.


WASHINGTON, D.C., January 19, 2011 – Atlantic Media Company President Justin B. Smith announced today that Kevin J. Delaney has joined the company as editor-in-chief of a new global business brand. The new digital-first brand will provide high-quality content and services to business executives navigating the increasingly complex global economy. It will be located in New York, with offices opening soon in Asia and Europe.

Delaney comes to Atlantic Media from The Wall Street Journal, where he served as managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Online. He was responsible for its editorial content and direction amid a period of rapid growth and successful expansion to new platforms such as the iPad. Prior to that post, he spent a decade as a reporter and senior special writer for the Journal, covering the Internet and other topics from the Paris and San Francisco bureaus.

The new business brand will be the first global venture launched by the Atlantic Media Company since its chairman, David Bradley, established the Washington-based firm 15 years ago.

“Atlantic Media Company has devoted the last several years to re-inventing our core businesses – The Atlantic, National Journal, and Government Executive – and transforming them into digital-first organizations. We are proud of our success,” said Smith. “We are now preparing for our most important new launch since The Atlantic Monthly in 1857 – the creation of a new digital-first global brand to serve the professional leadership class around the world. Kevin Delaney is a superstar – a brilliant journalist, digital strategist, and global thinker. We are thrilled to have him at the helm of this new global venture.”

Delaney began his career at Dow Jones & Co. in 1996, working as a producer for Wall Street Journal television projects before moving to report for SmartMoney, and then for The Wall Street Journal.

“This is a great moment to create a new digital service for a global readership and provide readers with news and real insights at the pace of the Web,” said Delaney. “Given its online and journalistic accomplishments, Atlantic Media is an excellent home for such an effort, and I’m proud to join.”

The new global business brand is scheduled to launch later this year.