Observer Media's local online news network Politicker is scaling back its stable of sites to six from 17, rival Politico reports. Founded about eight years ago as a Trenton, NJ-focused political news blog, Politicker started generating sites for its network at the start of 2008. Its New York blog was born as channel within the company's New York Observer site. It had previously planned to have sites in all 50 states and 75- to 100 reporters.
After building out several state-specific online outposts earlier this year in Maryland, Nevada, Colorado and Oregon, Politicker will pull back and maintain a northeast focus. In addition to keeping its NY and NJ sites, it will still run in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. Even though Washington DC will continue to generate a lot of interest with Barack Obama's administration taking office, Politicker is shutting down its two-person DC bureau. The Washington site didn't cover Beltway news anyway, offering news on the various state delegations in Politicker's network. With those sites gone, there was no reason to maintain that office, Observer Media's owner Jared Kushner told Politico. There was no word on how many staffers were laid off.
By David Kaplan