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Thursday, June 25, 2009

St. Pete Times Finds a Buyer for CQ

CQ, a boutique publication serving government employees, trade associations, and lobbying groups in Washington, DC, looks like it has finally found a buyer in the similarly “inside the beltway”-focused publication, Roll Call (actually, the buyer is Roll Call’s parent company, The Economist Group).

Why is this news? Because CQ is owned by the Poynter Institute, the non-profit foundation that manages the St. Petersburg Times. It is no secret that papers – including the Times, are struggling.

CQ has actually been profitable for the Poynter Institute (specialty publications have generally fared better than general interest publications like traditional dailies). Clearly, they have decided that the immediate infusion of cash is more vital to the long term prospects of the Times, than maintaining a distant, albeit profitable, publication in DC.

Though I have often been critical of the Times, let me just say (without getting into a philosophical discussion of the long-term prospects of the daily newspaper industry) that I would be deeply saddened to lose them and hope that this gamble pays off.

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