ACBJ working on biz journal of the future

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

American City Business Journals, the Charlotte-based company that operates 40 business newspapers across the country, is beginning a project to develop the “business journal of the future.”

Ed Baker, the publisher of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, confirmed the project and stated Friday afternoon in an e-mail, “We’re going to build ‘the business journal of the future.’”

Working with Baker on the project is Emory Thomas, the company’s editorial director and former publisher of the Puget Sound Business Journal. Thomas is a long-time business journalist whose career began at the Chronicle and then led him to The Wall Street Journal.

ACBJ chief executive Whitney Shaw, in response to an e-mail, said, “It’s so early we haven’t gotten started. Only thing we have so far is the skeleton of a plan how we’re going to tackle the project, starting with focus groups and a lot of listening.”

Shaw added that the company’s “goal is to make certain we have outstanding local business news and related content available on multiple platforms. We’re fortunate — unlike a lot of historically-print media companies, we still generate a lot of  print revenue from both advertisers and our 400,000+ subscribers.  This project is about continuing that while also broadening our horizons to ensure a bright future.”

News of the project leaked Friday afternoon when the reporter of one of ACBJ’s papers Tweeted about it and said the project would be based in Silicon Valley.

ACBJ operates two nearby papers, the San Francisco Business Times and the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.

The company is privately held and is part of the Newhouse media conglomerate that includes Conde Nast and newspapers across the country.