WAPO Buys Slate

Analysts comment on The Washington Post Company’s purchase of Slate:

Several analysts suggested that the deal was a sign that large,
older media properties were noticing the amount of advertising dollars
migrating to the Web and were deciding that it was time to begin
acquiring new brands as well as to further push their own digital
efforts. Although Slate has never achieved steady profitability,
it is credited with helping to shape Web publishing as well as
pioneering the use of hyperlinks and Web logs.

NYT smells a connection between Microsoft’s Bill Gates, who applauded Slate’s "[graduation] to media ownership," and WAPO’s Graham family. What does it mean, though, that both The New York Times Company and Atlantic Media looked at the property and decided not to bid? WAPO says it is buying the online magazine to increase its own online traffic. Slate editor Jacob Weisberg writes a predictably, politically safe piece about the transition, where he praises owners old and new.

Corante surveys opinions from the blogosphere:

At New Media Musings,
for example, JD Lasica gives his take on the deal: "That’s good news
for the good journalism going on at Slate. I can scarcely think of a
better fit, a more benign editorial presence, and a smarter new media
company than the Washington Post Co." In his "Santa Slate"
posting, Jeff Jarvis of Buzz Machine is less upbeat, but still concedes
that "they fit well together, not unlike Dow Jones and Marketwatch."


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