Jan 12, 2022 - Economy

D.C. journalists launch media startup called "Grid"


A group of D.C.-based journalists on Wednesday launched a new media company called "Grid" that focuses on hard news analysis and investigative reporting.

Why it matters: Grid debuts amid a flurry of new media companies looking to reach a similar audience of wealthy, elite professionals.

  • "Our goal in 2022 is to introduce ourselves and showcase what we do through a number of products," said Laura McGann, co-founder and editor of the new publication. "We have a coordinated rollout plan of earned and paid media and a social push."

Catch up quick: McGann first spoke with Axios about the venture in July.

  • She and co-founder Mark Bauman, who previously worked for the Smithsonian, National Geographic and ABC News, have already raised over $10 million from International Media Investments, a UAE-based investment fund and Brian Edelman, a technology executive.

Details: The new company, which was previously unnamed, plans to differentiate itself by providing deep reporting and analysis for a select few topic areas shaping the modern world, like misinformation, climate and Chinese geopolitics.

  • "Fundamentally we are putting an extra layer of context on top of the news," said Brad Bosserman, Grid's new chief revenue officer who was previously at Politico.
  • On Wednesday, the company announced a slew of new editorial hires, including several people from Buzzfeed, Politico, CNN, ABC and other outlets.

Between the lines: Bosserman says the company's business is supported by advertising and it eventually plans to wade into subscriptions and professional services.

  • "A majority of this business is going to be the higher touch advocacy and brand advertising," he said. "There will also be programmatic ads and branded content."
  • Its five-year business plan has been approved by both board and investors, per Bauman, who leads the business side of the new venture.

What to watch: The company — which currently employs around 50 employees, 30 of which sit in the newsroom — plans to launch a podcast hosted by McGann and Matthew Yglesias later this year.

Go deeper: D.C. journalists launch media company with $10 million+ funding

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