‘It’s time for Slate to fully embrace its startup roots’

August 29, 2011
Category: Uncategorized

Reuters.com | Poynter Online
Paul Smalera suggests a Slate-Washington Post Co. divorce. “What Slate needs is a CEO, someone who can lead a spinoff, attract venture capital, talent in the engineering, sales and business staffs with the prospects of equity and a clean, er, slate, with which to reinvent the modern online magazine.” He’d like to see “a real technologist and business person” like Google News’s Josh Cohen offered the chance to transform Slate into something venture capitalists like Fred Wilson, Chris Sacca and Reid Hoffman would invest in.

Slate was the original, crazy experiment of its time. It won the fierce loyalty of a generation of readers. But it’s time to re-run the experiment, exploiting the cash-rich, talent-starved startup environment of 2011, and see what the editorial mission of Slate — indeed, of online journalism as a whole — can become over the next 15 years.

Jack Shafer was asked in today’s Poynter chat if Slate restricted what he could say about the operations there, post-layoff? “I am absolutely free to speak my mind about Slate, past, present, and future,” he said. “So, yes, if I thought their digestive tract needed a new exit point, I could dig one with a rusty butter knife.”


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