May 1, 2018

Exclusive: New publishing tech company partners with AP

A group of media, journalism and tech companies has joined veteran media executive Merrill Brown to create a full-service publishing platform specifically built for digital news publishers called The News Project (TNP).

Why it matters: Brown says his company is different from other digital publishing platforms, like Maven, Squarespace and Medium, because his focuses solely on news.

This model more closely resembles The Washington Post's ARC publishing tech businesses, which signed Advance Local Media and Boston Globe Media this month, as well as Bonnier Corp. and Philly.com earlier this year.

The Associated Press has agreed to work with TNP on a set of services that can be accessed by participating publishers through the TNP platform. The AP will partner in two areas:

  • Give participating websites access to its wire on a subscription basis
  • Help sell TNP's tech worldwide with sales and marketing infrastructure

Publishers will pay a fee to launch on the platform and then will have the option to pick from a menu of services that will be made available through a monthly fee. Brown says payment of an ongoing monthly fee won't be mandatory and that the options are designed to give publishers flexibilities around their business models.

"We might sell ads for some publishers, or sell sponsorships for others," says Brown.

  • Brown says he's raised many hundreds of thousands in a seed round that includes  several former high-end media and technology executives, like Mark Walsh, former former Amazon Tech VP Neil Roseman, DC attorney Scott Fredericksen and his wife Dana Fredericksen, and former eMarketer Publisher Crystal Gurin.
  • He anticipates a lot of its money will come from larger commercial publishers (like large publishers that want to launch quick-turn websites around specific verticals), in order to fund smaller ones, like non-profits.
  • The company's first customer is Opioid Watch, a nonprofit news service published by The Opioid Research Institute.
  • The platform is currently being built by Digital development company 10up. Piano, a global leader in digital subscription and audience intelligence technologies, is building out the company's subscription tech. 

What's next? Brown says he's currently focused on scaling the technology, but has had conversations with many advertising executives about launching an ad-driven business to support publishing partners. 

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 5,383,582 — Total deaths: 344,077 — Total recoveries — 2,158,031Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,640,972 — Total deaths: 97,679 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.