Xconomy Forms Partnership With Seattle Times To Strengthen Tech, Life Sciences Coverage

4/22/09Follow @xconomy

Xconomy’s coverage of technology and life sciences in Seattle is growing fast, and now we’re getting another lift. My colleague Greg Huang and I are happy to say our company has secured a partnership with The Seattle Times, the owner of the most-read local news website in the Northwest. This is the second syndication deal we have struck with a local media giant in our first year, following the arrangement we established in December with seattlepi.com.

Under the new partnership, the Business/Technology section of Seattletimes.com is getting an automatic feed of the latest news and feature headlines from Xconomy Seattle. Our coverage of Northwest technology, life sciences, and alternative energy is appearing next to the Associated Press national business and technology headlines. And just as with an AP article, Times editors can pick certain Xconomy stories they consider of great interest to local readers—like our recent scoop on layoffs at Amgen—and move them into an even more prominent position on seattletimes.com.

We see this deal as further validation of the consistent high-quality journalism we’ve been producing. Xconomy’s traffic has more than tripled in the past year as our network has expanded from Boston to Seattle and San Diego, with more than 170,000 unique visitors per month now coming to our sites. The Seattle Times, where I worked as a business reporter from 2000 to 2006, provides us with a partner with longstanding roots in the community, and a reputation for prize-winning journalism. It also had a broad audience of more than 2.2 million unique visitors a month in March, a 70 percent leap from the same month a year earlier, according to figures compiled by Nielsen Online. (The Times, like many media outlets, says its internal numbers from Omniture are much bigger, showing 5 million unique visitors a month and 50 million page views.)

“As the highest-trafficked local-news website in the region, we want to be its primary launching pad online. We can do that by not only providing our own quality content, but by directing users to other worthwhile content elsewhere. We believe Xconomy will enhance our offerings,” says David Boardman, executive editor of The Seattle Times. “We’re continuing our constant drive to make Seattletimes.com the best possible destination it can be, both journalistically and from the perspective of connecting buyers and sellers. Readers can expect to see many more improvements and enhancements as we move forward.”

Other than Xconomy, The Seattle Times is also in discussions with various niche publications about providing links to content on a range of other sites, Boardman says. “We believe that is both good for our readers and for our business. We have more local content than anyone, and we anticipate that as we link out, we will be linked back to as well,” he says.

Xconomy founder and CEO Bob Buderi said this is another example of how creative partnerships can be established between traditional print media and online startups. This deal allows the Times to better serve readers and advertisers who are gravitating to the Internet, while increasing Xconomy’s traffic and brand awareness. “The Times is a great publication that understands the need for new ways of doing business, and we are pleased to be a partner with them. We think this will benefit everyone in the innovation community,” Buderi says.

This is obviously a disruptive time in the news business, with newspapers around the country laying off reporters and editors, and shutting down in some cases, because of a mass migration away from the traditional print advertising business model. We see partnerships like this as a way to continue to support the kind of diligent reporting and editing we think local communities need to thrive. Thanks to all the readers who have supported us in our mission to make this happen.

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