Monday, January 17, 2011

Freakonomics to Breakaway from NYT

How strong a revenue generator is the economics discussion sector of internet/overall media?

Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner must think it is real strong. They are leaving the comfort and security of Big Mama, NYT, and plan to operate as a stand alone web site. Writes Jeff Bercovici at Forbes:

Chad Troutwine, producer of the “Freakonomics” documentary released last fall, recently sent around an email soliciting candidates for an “editor and media strategist” to run the new site, “As Employee #1, this person will have the chance to take an influential position in what we believe will be a media juggernaut (OK, that may be a stretch, but we are confident in the site’s ability to attract millions of visitors almost immediately),” Troutwine wrote. “We are not publicly announcing the NY Times migration in advance, so please keep this confidential for now.”...Freakonomics has been part of the Times since August 2007...Dubner emails to say:

Yes, we’re taking indie again because, even though the 3.5 years with has been beyond great, a lot has changed in our universe since then — the film, a radio show, more books, etc. — and we’ve got a big appetite for uniting all these things, and a few more things, into one tight-knit little media channel known as And we just couldn’t do that if the blog still lived at

Then again, maybe Levitt and Dubner were booted by NYT. With these guys you can never be sure which way is up. An NYT spokesman told Bercovici "that their planned departure was a mutual decision by both The Times and Freakonomics."

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