POLITICS ON THE WEB….I’m not sure Ezra’s right about this. On the surface, it does seem devastating to the future of political reporting on the web that The Politico gets 60% of its advertising revenue from its print edition, which publishes three days a week and has a circulation of 27,000, and only 40% from the web, which has 3 million readers and publishes new content every day. But there’s another way of looking at it: without a website, The Politico would be dead in the water. If, instead of being almost profitable, it were still hemorrhaging a few million bucks a year with break-even years away, there’s a pretty good chance Allbritton would just shut it down. The web edition of the paper doesn’t cost much to produce and brings in enough extra revenue to make the combined operation financially attractive.
Bottom line: Print gets you respect and big dollar advertisers. The web gets you buzz and a nice chunk of additional revenue. The future — part of it, anyway — belongs to those who can successfully combine multiple media platforms into a single profitable whole. So far, it looks like The Politico has done that.