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Primary website:
theatlantic.com
Primary Twitter:
@TheAtlantic

The Atlantic is an American magazine that features political and cultural commentary. It is published 10 times a year.

The magazine was founded as The Atlantic Monthly in 1857 by a group of prominent writers including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It was based in Boston until moving to Washington in 2005. It was among the nation’s leading literary magazines for more than a century and has long been praised for its sophistication and literary quality, though it has rarely made money.

The magazine was owned by real estate mogul Mortimer Zuckerman from 1980 until 1999, when it was bought by its current owner, Washington consultant Dave Bradley.

The Atlantic reinvented itself in 2007, placing a new emphasis on its digital operations and dropping the “Monthly” from its name. It hired a group of prominent bloggers, including Andrew Sullivan (who left for the Daily Beast in April 2011) and Jeffrey Goldberg, made its site free to all visitors, and opened its archives. In 2009, it launched an opinion aggregator called The Atlantic Wire, which it relaunched as The Wire in 2013. The Wire had a staff of just under 15 in 2014. It also began placing a broader emphasis on cultural criticism, rather than on simply policy and politics. (That change met with criticism when, for example, the magazine put Britney Spears on its cover for a story about paparazzi in 2008.) The Atlantic also launched photo and video aggregation sites in 2011.

The Atlantic announced that it would experiment with online paid-content models in 2013.

The Atlantic launched a business news site, Quartz, in September 2012 with a staff of 25. The site, which has a mobile- and tablet-based focus but no apps, was free at startup, with four initial sponsors. (It had 15 within eight months.) It offers advertiser-created content through the Quartz Bulletin. The site’s journalists are organized around “obsessions,” rather than traditional beats. By July 2013, it had reached 5 million monthly users. As of mid-2013, about 25 to 30 percent of its traffic came from mobile.

It launched a defense-oriented news site, Defense One, in July 2013 with a full-time staff of three, with plans to steadily expand.

The Atlantic’s traffic jumped quickly after the changes and reached 10 million unique visitors by May 2011, hitting further highs the following year and reaching 16 million uniques in March 2014. By 2010, the magazine overall turned a profit for the first time in decades, and in 2011, more than half of its ad revenue came from digital media — up from 9 percent in 2008. In 2012, nearly two-thirds of its overall revenue came from digital, and in 2013, it posted its highest profits ever.

The Atlantic’s website features content from the longform journalism website Longreads through a partnership formed in 2013.

In September 2010, the site launched its Tech Channel, whose content generally adopts a cultural and historical view of technology. The vertical is overseen by author and former Wired reporter Alexis Madrigal.

In 2014, The Atlantic launched a social network called This, which allows users to share one link per day.

The Atlantic launched an iPad app in 2011 and added an-iPad optimized HTML5 web app in 2013. It introduced a weekly iPhone magazine for $2.99 a month in 2013.

In May 2011, The Atlantic’s website began experimenting with opening its pitching and editing process to the public, allowing readers to pitch stories and give editing feedback.

In 2009, The Atlantic began selling short stories on Amazon’s Kindle e-reader.

Sponsored content made to resemble Atlantic articles has been a critical part of the site’s advertising strategy. In 2013, it ran and then deleted a sponsored article by the Church of Scientology, then apologized for it.

The Atlantic also runs an events business called Atlantic Live that holds dozens of events each year, including off-the-record dinners with journalists and public officials.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Sept. 24, 2014 / Justin Ellis
Through The Wire: What happened with The Atlantic’s experiment in aggregation? — Almost a year ago The Wire dropped an important signifier from its name. The decision to drop the “Atlantic” was about letting the news and entertainment aggregator live on its own outside the parent company....
Sept. 15, 2014 / Joshua Benton
Like it or not, native advertising is squarely inside the big news tent — “There is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements. If you make them look like editorial pages, you will attract about 50 per cent more readers. You might think that the public would resent this trick...
Aug. 11, 2014 / Joshua Benton
Three views of the print future: genuinely worried, vaguely optimistic, and hallucinatory — We have dueling visions of the print newspaper future from Michael Wolff and David Carr today: I am, by a meaningful increment, more optimistic than Carr on the spin off age. Me: http://t.co/3hWNyF3xiZ. Carr: http://t.co...
Aug. 7, 2014 / Justin Ellis
Thinking of starting an events business? API has a guide for news companies — It’s no longer a secret that throwing events is a way for media companies to diversify their revenues and support their journalism. Companies of all sizes are now holding conferences, cruises, and festivals, rangin...
April 14, 2014 / Joseph Lichterman
Religious but not Mormon? The church-owned Deseret News considers you a growth market — The Deseret News is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but you might not detect its Mormon roots from looking at the outlet’s national site — officially came out of beta yesterday — whic...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: August 21, 2014.
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The Houston Chronicle is a daily newspaper owned by Hearst Corp. It is the second-largest newspaper in Texas and 13th-largest in the U.S., with 370,961 in combined print and online daily circulation as of 2014. The Chronicle’s online operation has been praised for its innovation. A 2006 study conducted by NYU professor Jay Rosen named…

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