Quartz Editor in Chief Steps Down in Shake-Up – The New York Times

Kevin Delaney, the editor in chief of Quartz and one of the digital publication’s co-founders, is stepping down as part of a shake-up of the company’s leadership.

Quartz announced the change on Monday, adding that another of its co-founders, Zach Seward, had become the chief executive officer. Mr. Delaney had previously shared that role with Jay Lauf, the publisher, who was named chairman of the company on Monday. Katie Weber, previously the chief commercial officer, was elevated to president in the series of moves.

The job of editor in chief was left open, with Quartz saying it was looking for a new one. Mr. Delaney will leave his role at the end of the month and remain an adviser to the company.

“I am particularly excited for the next chapter and to work with Zach and Katie to aggressively build on this momentum, to the benefit of readers, partners and members,” said Yusuke Umeda, co-chief executive of Quartz’s parent company, Uzabase.

Billed by Quartz as a cordial transition, the leadership changes nonetheless raised questions about a company that sustained losses this year as it moves away from its reliance on advertising toward a business model based on paid subscriptions.

The moves represented the first major turnover at the site, which covers business news, since it was sold last year by its founder, Atlantic Media, to Uzabase, a Japanese financial intelligence company. At the time, the announced sale price was between $75 million and $110 million. Uzabase, which also owns the business news aggregator NewsPicks, said it bought Quartz to expand its overseas news operation.

In a digital news landscape littered with failed start-ups and legacy outlets that have struggled or failed to make the transition away from the printed page, Quartz was a rare thing: a recognizable digital-news brand, built from the ground up.

It debuted in 2012 with around 20 journalists, and established a niche catering to readers interested in the intersection of the business and tech worlds at a time when the tech industry was rising to its current place of influence. With a global perspective, it offers six editions of its core site: Quartz, Quartz at Work, Quartz Africa, Quartz India, the lifestyle and wellness site Quartzy and the chart-driven Atlas.

Quartz averages roughly 20 million unique views per month, with nearly half coming from outside the United States, according to internal reporting.

But it loses money. According to financial filings, Quartz lost more than $24 million on $18 million in revenue through the first six months of this year, partly because of difficulties in the online ad market. Google and Facebook together take more than 60 percent of all online advertising dollars, making it difficult for digital publishers, even those with robust readerships, to succeed.

Uzabase started a paywall last November, charging $99 for a year’s subscription to Quartz. The company has said it plans to invest around $18 million in the effort and is likely to continue seeing losses this year.

There has never been Quartz without Mr. Delaney as editor in chief. Before he co-founded the site, he expanded The Wall Street Journal’s digital operation as managing editor of its website. He was a reporter at the newspaper before that, covering tech companies like Google and Yahoo. Earlier in his career, he was a reporter at SmartMoney, a personal business magazine published by Dow Jones and Hearst from 1992 to 2012, and a television producer in Montreal.

“I’m really proud of how Quartz has helped to fundamentally redefine the media industry’s approach to journalism, product, and advertising — and connected with tens of millions of readers around the world along the way,” Mr. Delaney said in a statement.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

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