September 23, 2014 Last Updated 8:01 am

The New York Times launches new home page, mobile website feature, Watching; The Atlantic to shutdown The Wire

New feed features developing stories, photos and YouTube videos, as well as tweets from NYT reporters and others

The New York Times introduced what it called a “major new feature” today: “Watching”, a news feed featuring early versions of news stories the paper are developing, curated content, and tweets from NYT reporters and others. It will also include photographs and YouTube videos.

NYT-watchingWatching is similar to other features seen on many websites that come from services that promise revenue shares from clicks received, though in this case Watching is internally driven, and dedicated to straight news rather than frivolous stories on how actresses might look without their teeth (an actual story appear in the Taboola service).

“Watching makes The New York Times homepage that much more essential,” NYT executive editor Dean Baquet said. “Our editors and reporters sift out the most urgent and important news, and present it alongside our own world-class journalism.”

The aggregated news effort will be led by editors Marcus Mabry and Jennifer Preston.


The Atlantic, which has led the way in creating new, separate brands online with the launch of The Wire, has decided to pull back. It will shutdown The Wire and reintegrate its team back into The Atlantic.

“In a couple of weeks, we will bring the staff of The Wire back into The Atlantic’s fold,” James Bennet and Bob Cohn told staffers in a memo yesterday. “We are very proud of what The Wire has accomplished editorially, and we think that joining its aggressive, deft news coverage with The Atlantic’s ideas-driven journalism will provide a richer experience for The Atlantic’s readers, a firmer foundation for our ambitions to cover the news, and greater opportunities for growth for The Wire’s team.”

The Wire developed as an aggregation news site in 2009, first named The Atlantic Wire before being rebranded as simply The Wire late last year.

“This decision is also driven by a recognition that the business strategy behind separating The Wire from The Atlantic simply hasn’t proven out. Experimenting with new revenue streams to support our journalism – like experimenting with new forms of reporting, storytelling, and distribution — has been essential to our progress across the ever-shifting media landscape; so too has moving quickly to face the facts, and to adjust, when an experiment isn’t working as we’d hoped.”

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