Atlantic Wire to relaunch, with a new(-ish) name: The Wire
Atlantic Media is gearing up for a relaunch of its prodigious news aggregator, The Atlantic Wire, Capital has learned.
As part of the change, which is slated for sometime in November, the site will shed its titular association with the company's 155-year-old flagship current affairs magazine, The Atlantic.
Starting with next month's reboot, The Atlantic Wire will be shortened simply to The Wire, spinning off the site—in name, at least—from the core Atlantic brand.
Sources familiar with the matter told Capital the name is being changed partly in order to broaden the pool of advertisers potentially interested in selling against the site. The Atlantic Wire has also been given a dedicated sales team, whereas its inventory was previously sold through The Atlantic, sources said.
A spokesperson for Atlantic Media declined to discuss the relaunch for this article.
But the decision appears to reflect a broader company strategy of web-based portfolio-building. Atlantic Media, which frequently touts its digital profitability, launched the business news site Quartz last year and the national security news site Defense One over the summer. Within the division of the company that includes The Atlantic, there's The Wire and Atlantic Cities.
In a similar instance, New York Media, the company that owns New York magazine, spun off its food, fashion and culture blogs into standalone sites Grub Street, The Cut and Vulture in 2011 and 2012, though the magazine's main website continues to house its news blog, Daily Intelligencer.
The Atlantic Wire got off the ground in 2009 as part of the company's online expansion. Originally conceived as an aggregator of commentary and opinion, it rebranded as a general news aggregator in 2011 under the leadership of ex-Gawker editor Gabriel Snyder.
Since then, the site has flexed its muscles by incorporating more original reporting and increasing its full-time newsroom staff to 15. There have been several departures recently as well, including deputy editor Matt Sullivan, who left in July to take a job at The New York Times; culture editor Alex Nazaryan, who took a job at Newsweek several weeks ago; and writer Rebecca Greenfield, who just moved over to Fast Company.
According to Omniture metrics provided by a spokesperson, The Atlantic Wire currently averages around 6 million unique visitors a month.
In other Atlantic Media news, the company is consolidating its New York footprint. Early next year, sources said, The Atlantic Wire and Quartz will move from their offices in Soho (across the street from Balthazar) to a new office in Union Square, which will also accommodate business-side Atlantic employees who currently work out of Midtown.