Good morning! Today’s newsletter is brought to you by Esther. There’s been so much crap media news recently I wanted to dedicate an issue to more positive stories. Fortunately, the industry has obliged by surfacing some good ones.

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Why New York Magazine’s the Cut is expanding at a time when many media companies are cutting costs

The Cut is expanding this year, with new hires, verticals and ad offerings.


The luxury sector has been pretty resilient to many of the headwinds other sectors have faced over the last few years, so on the one hand the news that the New York Magazine’s women’s fashion and lifestyle publication the Cut is expanding this year isn’t especially surprising.

But reading a bit further into this reveals some interesting nuggets, not least how strongly the Cut is feeding into the publisher’s wider subscription business. A spokesperson said over 50% of New York Magazine’s top converting stories for its subscription (which includes the Cut) are from the Cut each month.

There’s another vital piece of the puzzle I want to highlight. “There’s been a lot of parts of the Cut that I felt like we could do more on in a way that would meet our reader… and so that has led us to a lot of conversations around what’s possible on the business side for the brand,” said the Cut’s editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples. If you keep the readers as your north star, you won’t go far wrong in this business.


Six months in, journalist-owned tech publication 404 Media is profitable

“Owning our own work, and being beholden to no one but our readers and colleagues — as opposed to say, investors, venture capitalists, or out-of-touch executives — feels like the future.”

“We went into this being like, ‘We’ll have subscribers and we’ll have ads and hopefully that will work.’ And what we’re finding is that, yes, that is working, but then there’s also all these other little ways that you can make small amounts of money, like selling merch,” co-founder Jason Koebler told Nieman Lab. Social Spider’s David Floyd said something similar in episode 2 of our futureproofing local news series: there are no silver bullets, but everything adds up.


Dotdash Dish: Publisher achieves 9% digital surge in Q4

IAC Dotdash Meredith says year ended ‘stronger than we had hoped.’

Dotdash Meredith has reported a 9% digital revenue increase to $283.6 million in Q4 2023. “Feels nice to say for the first time in a while that the year finished stronger than we had hoped,” said Joey Levin, CEO of parent IAC, in a shareholder letter.


Growth in B2B events income offsets consumer media decline at DMGT

The profit margin at DMGT’s consumer media division fell from 8% to 6% in 2023 as advertising and circulation revenues suffered last year.

Events are well and truly back, baby. Growth of £63m in revenue from events and exhibitions at DMGT made up for a £33m drop in revenue from consumer media and a £7m fall in income from property information. Revenue from subscriptions has also grown 12% YoY. There are some challenges for the publisher, so this isn’t a wholly rosy newsletter edition. But there you go.

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