Media Guardian retreats from B2B territory

The appointment of Dan Sabbagh as the new head of the Guardian’s media and technology team coincides with its retreat from seeking to compete with established trade players such as Press Gazette, Broadcast and Media Week.

Sabbagh was media editor of The Times for five years and resigned from that job in January. He then launched independent media news blog Beehive City.

Talking about media trade websites in general, Sabbagh said: “We don’t want to compete with you – where we do compete with you, we want to back out of it. We want to showcase your stuff.”

In recent weeks, Media Guardian has begun carrying a selection of links to stories from rival media websites on its homepage. Sabbagh said that this is a strategy which it wants to expand and develop: “We want to become more like a media portal, so that you find everything you want to find through us.”

He told Press Gazette that Media Guardian is also planning to carry content from a network of independent bloggers who may want to come under its umbrella.

The change in tack is similar to the strategy adopted by the Guardian’s environment website, which carries content from a variety of partner websites in the sector as well from independent bloggers.

The move signals a significant shift for Media Guardian, which launched ten years ago and has previously covered much of the same ground as titles such as Media Week (which closed as a print title last year but continues online) and Press Gazette.

Like other titles in the sector, Media Guardian has seen a reduction in editorial headcount over the last couple of years.

Sabbagh said: “We want to acknowledge that there is only so much you can do yourself and the web is so much bigger than that.”

He added: “We can’t do everything and we don’t want to do everything. The Guardian needs to concentrate on the things that it’s good at. It needs to look at the big picture in media and technology.

“There’s a lot of interesting bits of detail underneath that – but it’s not our job to report on those because we don’t have the people.”

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