Firstbiz.com, the business news portal of Network 18, got an unceremonious ending last week as it was reintegrated into the parent website FirstPost. Firstbiz, which was launched in February earlier this year, came from Network 18’s FirstPost stables and looked to take business news to the masses.
FirstPost Editor-in-chief R Jagganathan in a post said that the move is aimed at “to consolidate and widen the Firstpost repertoire under one domain.” Jagganathan added that Firstbiz’s content will be available under the FirstPost business vertical and the entire archives will also be available for search. “Readers of FirstBiz will not find any reduction in our business reportage and analysis,” the post added.
MediaNama spoke to journalists at Firstbiz who said that there are no layoffs at the website. They added that the decision to close the site was due to the fact that two URLs diluted the focus of the website.
“At one point FirstPost was getting too political and we did not want a portal that competed with moneycontrol.com,” said a highly placed source at FirstPost.
It is also interesting to note that earlier in July, Durga Raghunath resigned as CEO of Network 18 Digital. Raghunath was also instrumental in the conceptualization and launch of Firstpost and Firstbiz.
Musical Chairs continue
As per MediaNama estimates, Network18 has launched as many as 29 websites till date, of which, only 9 are still live and independent. The company has chopped and changed its website portfolio over the years, and there has been a lack of coherent direction Network 18 Digital’s properties include Moneycontrol.com (their cash-cow), FirstPost, Burrp (the listing and reviews business), News18.com (the groups state and local news portal) and FakingNews.com (a satire website).
Note that Tech2 still operates as a sub-domain of FirstPost. But FirstPost has a tech section and when clicked on, readers are redirected to Tech2 page. In January, Tech2 was moved from In.com sub-domain to a FirstPost.com sub-domain. It is getting harder to track Network 18’s revenues and the company has stopped sharing data on its Digital Content business in August following its takeover by Reliance Industries.
(With inputs and charts from Nikhil Pahwa)