David Bradley says he is committed to owning and growing National Journal — the first media company he ever purchased — for at least the next 10 years, according to a memo obtained by Axios.
Driving the news: Bradley says his family is selling its controlling interest in National Journal's lucrative research business, Ballast Research, to Falfurrias Capital Partners (FCP), a Charlotte-based private equity firm that invests in growth-oriented, middle-market businesses.
- Roughly 25% of National Journal's staff (40 people) will go with Ballast as part of the divestiture.
- Bradley will remain a key investor in Ballast and says his family will still have a significant stake.
The big picture: Over the past few years, Bradley has sold either his majority stake or full stake in most of the titles that once made up Atlantic Media Inc., including The Atlantic, Government Executive and Quartz, leaving National Journal Group as the only business left within Bradley's media empire that he still fully owns.
- At one point in 2013, Atlantic Media Inc. was bringing in over $100 million, including $43 million from The Atlantic and $37 million from National Journal, according to a source familiar with the company's finances.
The big picture: The smartphone era ushered in a slew of new competitors to the political reporting space that forced National Journal to pivot its business over the past ten years to focus on custom research and consultative services that served Washington opinion leaders.
- In effect, it started to look more like the DC-based consulting businesses that Bradley originally founded and sold to afford his venture into media.
By the numbers: Today, National Journal splits its revenue between subscriptions and consultative services.
- The company is profitable, Turpin says. He notes that Bradley has consistently invested in the business since 2016.
- The company shuttered its historic print magazine in 2015. Journalism is still a paid subscription service it offers to opinion leaders, but it's no longer the sole driver of its business.
Editor's note: David Bradley is an investor in Axios.