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Politico publisher buys news site

NEW YORK — Robert Allbritton, the publisher of the Washington news publication Politico, said Monday that he had acquired the three-year-old news website Capital New York and that he intended to turn it into a version of Politico for the Empire State.

“I have very big ambitions for this publication: to do in New York what we did in Washington with Politico,” Allbritton said in an e-mail to Politico staff.

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The announcement came six weeks after Allbritton sold his family’s seven television stations, including one in Washington, for nearly $1 billion. He had said that he wanted to concentrate on digital businesses like Politico, and the purchase of Capital New York — for a small, undisclosed amount — attested to that plan.

“I believe powerfully that nonpartisan publications with an intense focus on a specific set of topics can break though quickly, editorially and financially,” Allbritton said in a statement Monday morning. “I’m excited to take the impressive work Benson and McGeveran did with Capital to the next level.”

The founders and co-editors of Capital New York, Josh Benson and Tom McGeveran, will continue to run it on a daily basis. Allbritton named Jim VandeHei, Politico’s cofounder and executive editor, to be president of Capital New York, and two other Politico veterans were appointed to newly created business posts. VandeHei said he sees his role as teaching “the tricks we have learned about voice, velocity, efficiency, and business to the gang leading Capital day to day.”

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