Fans of John Cook and Todd Bishop, never fear. The highly-regarded tech reporters who quit the Seattle Post-Intelligencer together yesterday will continue blogging like they have for years at the P-I, in a new role at the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Today, the Business Journal said it is creating a new website featuring Cook’s coverage of venture capital and startups, Bishop’s writing on Microsoft and other large tech companies, along with assorted tech stories from reporter Eric Engleman, a five-year veteran of the Business Journal. The new site “will combine rigorous reporting with the immediacy of online publishing,” the Business Journal said in a statement.
The move is a big shift in strategy for the Business Journal. It’s part of the American City Business Journals chain, which covers local business in 41 cities around the country. The Puget Sound Business Journal newspaper has a paid weekly circulation of 18,000, and is read by an estimated 70,000 people in the region each week, says publisher Emory Thomas Jr. It’s taking the plunge into online publishing because technology industry readers demand the kind of fast-twitch, in-depth coverage that Cook and Bishop are known for around town. The site will also feature guest columnists, experts in their fields who will offer ideas and insights. The stated aim: To become “The Northwest’s Leading Technology News Source.”
This, of course, sounds a lot like Xconomy, which launched in Seattle in June. It’s a serious push, but Thomas didn’t want me to get the idea that the Business Journal is turning its back entirely from its bread-and-butter print newspaper. “Print is going nowhere but up for us,” he says. “But we know that a segment of our readers get their information almost exclusively online. We want to provide a product to readers and players in that community where they gather their information, and that’s online.”
Cook expects the site will incorporate news from other Business Journal properties around the country, and that he and Bishop will send some of their Seattle-based posts to those sites in return. The online-first emphasis, however, is something the Business Journals chain hasn’t really tried before, Thomas says.
One reason for Cook and Bishop to go with the Business Journal is for its extensive list of contacts and resources in the local business community. “It makes a ton of sense for Todd and I to link up with it,” Cook says. In an email to his contacts today, Cook added, “I recognize that startups are hard and that most new ventures fail. But I am energized by the opportunity to combine traditional journalism with the world of new media.”
The site should go live “within weeks,” Thomas says, so readers will soon be able to judge for themselves about the results. Best of luck, gentlemen, we’re sure to see you on the battlefield.
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