Aug 13, 2019

The Spectator is launching a U.S. print version

A May 2015 issue of The Spectator. Photo: NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Spectator, the world’s oldest English-language magazine, is launching a U.S. monthly print version for the first time in its history this fall, after starting a U.S. digital presence last year.

Why it matters: The publication has been published in the U.K. continuously since it launched 1828 as a weekly. Its former editor, Boris Johnson, just took the reins as the U.K.'s new prime minister.

What's next: The first issue of the monthly publication will debut in October 2019, with a glossy, high-end look and feel — more like a coffee table magazine than for a doctor's office.

  • The magazine will be primarily driven by subscriptions, with limited newsstand distribution to select locations. It will also sell advertising.
  • Coverage will include politics and policy, but also lifestyle, arts, culture, food and wine.
  • Zack Christenson, a former journalist turned tech entrepreneur is U.S. publisher and Freddy Gray is U.S. editor. The U.S. bureau will be based in D.C.
  • It's currently staffed with 7 editors and writers, and a stable of regular contributors and columnists.

The big picture: Some of the other big names in U.K. print media are doing ok, and their U.S. expansion efforts also seem to be working.

  • Guardian Media Group says it hit its goal of breaking even last year. Revenue for the online-only Guardian US and Guardian Australia operations also grew substantially, making up 14% of the company's total revenues.
  • News UK, parent company of The Times and Sunday Times, says it now has more than 300,000 paid digital-only subscribers between the two outlets. The owner claims that 2019 had been its “most successful year” since launching a digital subscription model in 2010.

Go deeper: Boris Johnson forms "war cabinet" to prepare for no-deal Brexit

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The Athletic is experimenting with free content

The Athletic, a subscription-based digital sports media company, will begin experimenting with putting some of its audio content in front of its paywall in an effort to expand its audience, a source familiar with the plans tells Axios.

What's new: The company will start by offering one episode a week to non-subscribers in front of the paywall and one behind. The goal is to offer people who might be less likely subscribe to The Athletic the ability to sample some of company's content.

Go deeperArrowAug 27, 2019

Group Nine Media raises $50 million from Discovery and Axel Springer

Photo: Group Nine

Group Nine Media, which includes digital lifestyle brands like The Dodo, NowThis, Thrillist and Seeker, has raised $50 million from Discovery Inc. and German publishing giant Axel Springer.

Why it matters: It's one of the biggest digital media investments in the past year. Investors have been mostly bearish on digital content companies because they are hard to scale and usually aren't very profitable.

Go deeperArrowSep 9, 2019

U.K. food, fuel and drug shortages likely in no-deal Brexit: Report

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Venture Quay on the Isle of Wight in June. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Britain faces shortages of fuel, food and medicine and a likely hard border in Ireland if there's a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31, according to U.K. government documents leaked to the Sunday Times.

Why it matters: The Cabinet Office forecast outlines the most likely aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit rather than a worst-case scenario, according to the news outlet.

Go deeperArrowAug 18, 2019