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Allbritton, Shedding TV Properties Like KATV, Already Investing More in the Web

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Allbritton Communications, which earlier this year sealed a deal to sell all its local television stations — including Little Rock’s KATV-TV Channel 7 — to Sinclair Broadcasting Group Inc., has wasted little time making investments in its new medium of choice, the Internet.

According to Politico, the political news website owned by Allbritton:

In an ambitious play for the New York market, POLITICO publisher Robert Allbritton has purchased the online news site Capital New York, with plans to make “a substantial investment” in the business and more than quadruple staff.

Capital, which was launched in 2010 by former New York Observer editors Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran, will now be led by POLITICO co-founder and executive editor Jim VandeHei, who will serve as president while remaining in his current role at POLITICO. Benson and McGeveran will remain co-editors.

The acquisition is Allbritton’s first since he reached an agreement to sell his television holdings in July. His goal: to apply the POLITICO business model to New York City and “focus laser-like on New York and its power centers, including the media, city and state politics, culture and business.”

When announcing his intention to sell KATV and its other TV properties in May, Allbritton CEO Robert Allbritton said he wanted to focus more “resources and expanded mindshare” on Politico, which the company launched in 2007:

Then we can plunge in further on a variety of other potential investments that intrigue me as I contemplate the next chapter for our business.

Consider this the beginning of the “next chapter” for Allbritton.

Meanwhile, Captial New York’s editors say the Allbritton deal puts them on “stable financial footing,” allowing them to continue making a quality product in the long-term:

It also gives us the wherewithal to be much more ambitious than ever before about our editorial mission, which is to be a primary source of reporting for knowledgeable readers on the workings of the greatest city in the world.

We’ll be announcing a substantial number of additions to the Capital editorial staff in the coming weeks, as well as some changes to the site. We’ll immediately intensify our existing focus on politics and media, building on the excellent work of Dana, Joe, Azi, Reid and Gillian and our regular contributors, and we’ll also be growing our coverage of culture and other areas vital to a publication purporting to cover New York.

You can read the full editor’s note right here.

Also: Yep, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette noted what the Sinclar Broadcast Group acquisitions could mean for viewers, advertisers and political discourse, carrying this Washington Post story on the front page of its business section on Sunday. Of course, Arkansas Business readers read that same story via the Whispers Blog last Tuesday.

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