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January 27, 2014 12:20 PM A Bright Orange Glow on the Horizon

By Ed Kilgore

Martin Longman commented on Ezra Klein’s new journalistic venture yesterday, and I share his curiosity about and positive wishes towards the what could begin the Next Big Thing in the industry (much as I feel about my former colleague Nate Silver’s rapidly approaching re-appearance in partnership with ESPN). But in all the buzz about WaPo losing Ezra, I’m surprised there isn’t more talk about the identity of some of the folks behind Vox Media, the very successful company that Klein is partnering with. Here’s Wikipedia’s description of the outfit:

Vox Media Inc. (previously known as Sports Blogs, Inc and publicly known as Vox) is an American internet media company that currently has six main editorial brands: SB Nation, The Verge, Polygon, Curbed, Eater, and Racked. Vox is headquartered at 1201 Connecticut Ave NW in Washington, D.C. Founded in 2003 as Sports Blogs, Inc., by political activist Jerome Armstrong, freelance writer Tyler Bleszinski and Markos Moulitsas (creator of Daily Kos), the network features over 300 sites with over 400 paid writers.

Best I can tell, Vox’s business model is to create super-sites that share ad revenues with a host of individuals writers. I suppose Ezra’s crew will be similarly financed.

But I gotta say, if this were happening six or eight or nine years ago, the Markos/Armstrong angle in this new venture would be getting a lot more attention, perhaps as an omen of a bright orange glow (the famous color branding of Daily Kos) on the political media horizon. Who would have guessed these newly wealthy insurgents could raid WaPo’s stables and make off with Jeff Bezos’ biggest young star? Crashing the Gate indeed!

UPDATE: Veteran Kossack Armando Llorens (an old friend and sometimes sparring partner) offered some interesting thoughts on the significance of Klein’s defection to Vox yesterday.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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