The Washington Examiner Rises from the Ashes of Newsprint
This interview is a part of a larger feature documenting some of the most exciting magazine launches and relaunches of the past two years. Click here to view more interviews with publishers of newly launched or relaunched titles.
For just over eight years, The Washington Examiner existed as a conservative-leaning daily tabloid that covered local news in the nation's capitol. But in March 2013, the paper's parent company announced an unexpected about-face: The newspaper was folding, and being retooled as an online publication and a weekly print magazine with a focus on politics and policy. MediaDC CEO Lou Ann Sabatier, a longtime publishing consultant hired to lead the revamped brand, spoke about the Examiner's new national direction.
What sort of audience is the new Washington Examiner trying to reach?
Well, the positioning of this brand is interesting, in that we call it "centered-right." We're the only brand that really covers a diversity [of views], from independent to libertarian to moderate, and from traditional Republican to Tea Party. That's really what the right is today -- it's an amalgam of all of those, and we have writers who represent that whole spectrum.
The print publication is targeted to the people who work in politics and who influence political discussions. It's focused inside the Beltway. The website includes those people, but it also targets a nationwide consumer who is deeply interested in politics.
But here is what's really important to note about this brand: I don't want scale for scale's sake. I want people who are interested in the context, and I want to be relevant to their lives. And so as that audience builds, I'm trying to build it intentionally. It's not like I'm trying to keep people out, but I'm not writing for the masses. So [regarding] growth, as long as there's momentum and it's going in the right direction, I'm happy.
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Dan Eldridge is a journalist and guidebook author based in Philadelphia's historic Old City district, where he and his partner own and operate Kaya Aerial Yoga, the city's only aerial yoga studio. A longtime cultural reporter, Eldridge also writes about small business and entrepreneurship, travel, and the publishing industry. Follow him on Twitter at @YoungPioneers.