AllThingsD team and Dow Jones fail to reach agreement, Mossberg & Swisher look for investors
Fortune magazine is reporting somewhat expected news: the AllThingsD team will; be leaving Dow Jones and the WSJ at the end of the year. Dow Jones will retain that brand, but the founders, Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg will be searching for investors to relaunch their tech site under another name, at another location.
According to Fortune, the AllThingsD founders are in talks with Comcast and at least one other media company.
In the tech world the brand and the audience goes with the writers. But traditional media companies often feel that the brand resides with the owner, and the writers are interchangeable. This may have driven down the price News Corp. felt they needed to pay to retain the AllThingsD team, and it may hold back traditional media companies from investing too much to back Mossberg and Swisher.
The question I have in the back of my mind is whether Dow Jones may try to pick off members of the team in hopes of retaining AllThingsD’s audience. Money talks, right?
Fortune says a formal statement might appear late this afternoon (
though it is already pretty late on the east coast).
Confirmed: WSJ communications tweets: @WSJ and #AllThingsD have decided not to renew agreement at the end of the year.
Here is the statement from Wall Street Journal managing editor Gerard Baker:
For years, Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal has enjoyed working with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher to bring the best of tech coverage to readers around the world under the All Things Digital brand, however, after discussions, both parties have decided not to renew the agreement when the contract expires at the end of this year.
Technology is the central driver of economic growth and the Journal is committed to being the indispensable global source of news and information in this critical area. We plan to embark on a major global expansion of our technology coverage, which will include adding 20 reviewers, bloggers, visual journalists, editors, and reporters covering digital. As part of this global push, we will also be expanding our conference franchise to include an international technology conference and building a new digital home for our first-class technology news and product reviews on The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. This new initiative will be an integral part of The Wall Street Journal and will be rooted in the Journal’s reputation for excellent, fair, objective, reliable and stimulating journalism.
As part of the mutual separation, Walt Mossberg will be leaving the Journal at the end of this year. I want to offer heartfelt thanks for more than twenty years of Personal Technology columns as well as his very fine reporting on national and international affairs in the years before he turned his attention to technology coverage.