POLITICO Publisher Robert Allbritton has announced an “ambitious play” for the New York news market by purchasing Capital New York, a website dedicated to news chiefly concerning New York City.
According to Capital’s publishers, Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran, POLITICO’s owner has the “intention of establishing and growing it as a free-standing sibling publication in New York.”
The takeover will also involve several POLITICO operatives moving over to Capital to begin the work of expansion. POLITICO’s Jim VandeHei will serve as President of the newly reorganized Capital New York at the same time that he continues in his role at POLITICO. Also moving from POLITICO to Capital will be Katherine Lehr, who will become the Vice President of Operations, and Cally Stolbach, who will serve as the Director of Business Development.
POLITICO itself reports that along with these three initial migrations of personnel, the Washington, D.C.-based site intends to move “more than two dozen people in the coming weeks” to New York.
In a memo to his own POLITICO staffers, Allbritton said, “I have very big ambitions for this publication: to do in New York what we did in Washington with POLITICO. We are making a substantial investment to sharpen the focus of Capital and vastly expand its reportorial presence.”
In a recent statement, Jim VandeHei said that Capital will become “the essential news source for and about the most powerful people in New York–the officials who run government, politics, business and media.”
VandeHei, though, will stay based in DC while Katherine Lehr will decamp to New York to be the hands-on director of day-to-day activities.
This news comes on the heels of the announcement that POLITICO intends to start a print magazine dedicated to long-form journalism. It is all part of an ambitious expansion in the POLITICO universe of products.