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Former Politico co-founder VendeHei targets corporate execs in new venture


By Kyle O'Brien | Creative Works Editor

September 7, 2016 | 2 min read

Politico co-founder Jim VendeHei is launching a new news venture that will target corporate executives and professionals rather than Washington lobbyists.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that VendeHei’s startup will be subscription based, premium priced and will be able to be tailored for subscribers, though some content will be available for free.

The new name for the service has not been disclosed yet and it is set to launch in 2017. Areas of concentration will be tech, health care, business news and some political content.

According to the story, VandeHei is being backed by NBC News, which will provide content and serve as media partner, and Lerer Hippeau Ventures, a VC firm also connected with the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed. In turn, talent from the new venture will also appear on the NBC news stations and will collaborate with the team on other projects.

The business model will be similar to Politico Pro, which VandeHei created at Politico before leaving in late January.

Concentrating on professionals and executives he hopes will help break through a crowded media landscape.

“We believe—and proved with Politico—that you can build a great media company if you offer content consumers and advertisers truly value delivered the way they truly want it,” Mr. VandeHei said to the Wall Street Journal. “You just need to produce something people want, need and get addicted to. That’s our aim.”

The company of roughly 60 employees will be based in Arlington, Virginia with offices in New York. Joining VandeHei, who will serve as chairman/CEO, will be Roy Schwartz, formerly of Politico, as president, and Nicholas Johnston, formerly a managing editor at Bloomberg, as editor in chief.

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