This bit about The Atlantic’s transformation into a digital-first news organization might be really instructive for us. It sounds a bit like they “did the full Van Dam,” to quote Andrew Van Dam’s characterization of his print-segregation strategy from the Missourian editors’ retreat. An excerpt:
[Atlantic Media President Justin] Smith also pushed for a digital-first strategy. He stressed that print is not dead, but taking this approach allowed the company to unlock its grip on traditional revenue sources. Importantly, the Web site’s overhaul was set up as an insurgency on the print brand. “If our mission was to kill the magazine, what would we do?” said Smith, who added that a digital competitor was going to do that anyway, so they did it themselves.
For the year 2010, Smith is projecting that digital will account for 39 percent of the brand’s revenue.
The Atlantic expects to be profitable by the end of the year and is projecting multimillion-dollar profit for 2011. I urge you to read the whole article. It’s not long.