Does the Atlanta Business Chronicle Care?

For the past few years, Justin Rubner has been diligently covering the technology beat here in Atlanta. In particular, I found his coverage of the tech startup scene to be a positive thing for the community. Justin recently left the Chronicle and landed at The Content Factor. However, the Chronicle has yet to replace him, or to provide any sort of coverage of the tech scene at all.

A week or two ago, I emailed Ed at the Chronicle and asked a simple question: are you guys going to bring back the technology column? I’ve yet to receive a reply.

Edit/Update: I have heard through the grapevine that they do not have plans to bring the technology column back.

Atlanta is the most “wired” city in the world, according to Forbes Magazine (for the second year in a row). Money Magazine was quoted as saying that Atlanta has “a bustling community of Internet-related start-ups.” (thanks to Lance Weatherby for those 2 snippets). So why then does the Atlanta Business Chronicle forego technology coverage in order to continue to fill my driveway with piles of dead trees containing in-depth coverage of the real estate market (which we all know is tanking)? See Mike Blake’s recent presentation for some statistics on this …

Since TechLinks has evolved into a love fest for big company CIOs and sponsors, we have little-to-no traditional media coverage here (save for Tech Journal South, based out of RTP/Carolina, which tries to provide at least some coverage for us).

Come on guys … this is embarrassing. There is a whole new wave of technology players in Atlanta, and you are missing the boat. Then again, since most of us get our news online these days, maybe it doesn’t even really matter.



  1. The real estate industry will come back. The newspaper industry is dead. What is needed is a new way to publicize the successes of the Atlanta start-up community. I don’t know what that is yet, but I know it is not the Chronicle.

  2. Q: Does the Atlanta Business Chronicle care?
    A: No.

    See, wasn’t that simple?

    The reason is simple. The Chronicle (and the zillion other XYZ Business Chronicle/Journals around the country) are in the business of smearing black ink over dead tree pulp, and shipping the result around the city in trucks. That business gets paid for by ADVERTISING.

    Tech industries have pretty much abandoned dead-tree publishing. So, guess what? No advertising dollars for the Chronicle. It follows as the night follows the day that the Chronicle doesn’t care about tech industries.

    (Hint: grab a copy; someone you know must still subscribe, even if only out of inertia. Count the number of ads from real estate firms. Now count the number of ads from technology firms. Clear enough?)

    And don’t talk to me about the “Internet strategy.” That strategy, as far as I can tell, is to shove everything interesting behind a pay wall, where you have to subscribe to the dead-tree edition to access it. Bah.

  3. Lol … I agree with both of you.

    C’mon, Stephen. You know you want to invest in a newspaper play ;)


  4. In a way it’s just reflective of the market. Tech companies are less financially empowered to pay for and frankly get less value from exposure in the ABC. I’m sure if tech companies were buying lots of ads and sponsoring columns, the ABC would have lots more tech in it.

  5. While subscription revenue obviously does not cover the cost of producing a paper, it is an income stream that matters. The only reason I subscribed to the Atlanta Business Chronicle was the tech column. I vote with my feet and not renew (and also will not digress into the marketing tactics of publishing companies on subscription renewals) unless they bring the tech column back.

  6. I miss Justin, he did a great job. So did his predecessors – remember Brian Moran, Caroline Hubbard, Jason Kelly, and Charles Davidson (hope I didn’t miss anyone). Atlanta still has a vibrant tech community, especially in the start-up arena. Having done tech pr for 20+ years here I can attest to the perceived importance of a Chronicle article – it seemed that all of our clients wanted to be in there, even if it wasn’t being read by their target audience — they wanted their buddies (investors, partners, potential hires) to see it! I still think that Ed can make a buck or two with an online model; it will involve developing a locally controlled site with a commitment to tech industry coverage, etc. The brand has power and there’s certainly a legacy to grow on. If Ed doesn’t want to do it – maybe we all should? Anyone interested? Drop me a line.

  7. I offered the ABC that video I did that featured you and PlayMotion… for FREE, to put on their website. They said they had no method, means, nada for supporting video at all. Makes me wanna holler. You can’t even give away tech-oriented content in this town. It’s downright shameful. I felt I should have personally apologized to every CEO at the TAG Summit for the gross negligence of ALL Atlanta MSM brethren. A sorry state of affairs, but in this Cox Media Plantation town, one I’d not expect to change anytime soon. Why change when you don’t have to? But at least you could reasonably ask for the ABC to have a freakin’ tech reporter. It’s not so much to wish for.

  8. Peter — you missed Mary Jane Credeur. And wasn’t Rodney Ho on the ABC tech beat before he joined the AJC?

  9. Scott, the fact that tech coverage is shrinking is bad enough. Though it is the impact that counts. In this sense Atlanta Business Chronicle isn’t big loss.

    There is a cross-platform analogy for what matters. It is science. Publishing scientific papers is vital for ideas. It is much more important than publishing startup dids, which earn their permissions to exist somewhere else than inked paper.

    The scientific paper publishing has two segments: established journals and conference proceedings. The first segment is like a for-profit press (ABC, etc.) it is mostly reviewed by professionals in science (here more scientific politic) and publishing. The journals state and popularize the facts. But the conference proceedings create growing points. The papers are reviewed by peers, by people who have immediate interest and understanding of what is happening. A good illustration – why it is important – is movie “Planet of the Apes” (1968).

    Considering your mission statement, fall out of the “journals” is worth to be mentioned. But it is early to cry. It is an excellent opportunity for a better coverage by “proceedings”. A trusted, peers reviewed technology business publishing engine will do better service to the community.

    Now the question: Why couldn’t the SB-Pothole have a news line of the kind?

  10. Scott, The Atlanta Business Chronicle does care.
    I now cover the tech beat, in addition to health care (which I’ve been covering since I got here about eight months ago.)
    For your readers: I’d like to focus on tech deals getting done in the region, company expansions/growth – and layoffs.
    I’d also like to focus on business issues that affect the local tech community.

  11. Urvaksh – thanks for stopping by and dropping a comment.

    I’m glad to see the Chronicle stepping up to provide some coverage of the tech scene in Atlanta. I wish there was a full-time resource dedicated to the technology community here, but this is a step in the right direction.


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