Washington Post Buys Slate
Washington Post buys Slate online magazine (Seattle Post-Intelligencer – AP)
Microsoft Corp. sold its popular Slate online magazine Tuesday to The Washington Post Co., a move that makes Slate’s political commentary and quirky feature articles more broadly available across the Internet. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Slate editor Jacob Weisberg said the amount was “a very respectable, impressive price.”
Microsoft has said Slate, with roughly 6 million readers monthly, breaks even financially but isn’t consistently profitable. Microsoft has sought a buyer since the summer. Under the sales agreement, visitors to Microsoft’s MSN Web site will continue to be directed to Slate. “We just came to the realization that at this stage in our growth and the development of the magazine, it made sense for us to be at a more traditional media company,” Weisberg said.
The Post, which has increasingly sought unique content for its Web site distinct from its published newspaper articles, said it plans no editorial changes at Slate. Weisberg will remain editor, and Slate will continue to operate offices in New York and Washington, D.C. Slate will close a small office in Redmond, Wash.
Interesting. I’ve been reading Slate since its earliest days and am not sure why something that’s available free online and was launched with a huge Microsoft-led media blitz needs wider distribution, but so be it.