Walt Mossberg Pulls The Plug On All Things Digital In Order To Re/code

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Mossberg and his partner Kara Swisher have closed down the influential high tech news web site that they established more than six years ago.

                                                                                                                  Kara Swisher                                                   Walt Mossberg

As the fireworks were flying high above Times Square not so far away on Wall Street, Walt Mossberg was turning off the lights in his office within the Wall Street Journal which housed one of the first and most highly regarded technology websites, All Things Digital.

All Things Digital which Mossberg set up in April 2007 with his fellow ex-Wall Street Journal colleague Kara Swisher initially to publicize the D conference that they had established a few years previously, grew to become a powerful entity in its own right hosting more than 40, 000 posts during the time it was on the air.

However Walt is not known for letting the moss (berg) grow under his feet and already two days later, he and Kara will be taking the wrappings off their brand new site which is reported to be labeled Re/code and will operate under the tagline of Re/fresh, Re/think, Re/imagine.

Unlike All Things Digital, Re/code will operate as separate and individual company complete with its own set of investors and partners.

When became an increasingly likely that the  Wall Street Journal parent company, Rupert Murdoch’s Dow Jones would not be containing their contract either with Mossberg or Swisher as columnists on their paper or to host All Things Digital, a likely unlikely party who could be interested in forming a partnership with the website. Among the most likely candidates mentioned at that time were NBC Universal, Bloomberg Media or the Washington Post.

As the closing date drew increasingly near many reports had it that Mossberg  and Swisher were in fairly advanced talks with a number of prospective investors, with one of the strongest candidates to get in on the deal being  Comcast a subsidiary of NBC Universal.

However at the last moment a dark horse reportedly came into the picture, that horse being Windsor Media owned by media entrepreneur Terry Semel. The final picture that has now emerged  is that both Windsor Media and Comcast will be taking an equal minority share, which has to be less than 25% each of the total value of Revere Digital, the parent company formed by Swisher and Mossberg to manage Re/code in which they will have the majority shareholding.

What has also emerged from the deal is that NBC Universal have signed a separate operational agreement that will show NBC News as being the new website’s preferred media partner, as well as provide it with unlimited access to Re/code’s anticipated high level content. The good news for fans of All Things Digital is that all of the existing staff have packed up their lunch boxes and moved to, with Mossberg and Swisher adding two key members of staff, Ken Li (formerly of Reuters) who will be managing editor and James Temple, who will be joining Re/code  as technical policy reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher will also be headlining a whole new conference series tentatively named at this stage as “The Code.” While details still remain sketchy at this point of venues and timing, it is expected that no major changes will be made in the highly successful formula established during the ten years that Mossberg and Swisher organized  the D All Things Digital conferences.

During that time the conferences became an important meeting place for the key figures in the online world, with it becoming almost a ritual for principal movers and shakers in the high-tech industry to undergo a powerful interview by Mossberg and Swisher during the  All Things Digital conference with Bill Gates and  Elon Musk,  among those who were forced to run the gauntlet over the years

The All Things Digital website is no more with anyone logging in now being automatically redirected to The Wall Street Journal’s revamped technology site, while the seven year accumulation of high quality technical information housed in the website archives remains online, and can only be accessed through the Dow Jones website.

Walter S. Mossberg graduated from Brandeis University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Mossberg spent more than 40 as a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal for, always in their office in Washington, D.C. After joining the company in 1970, Walt Mossberg spent the first 18 years at the paper covering national and international affairs before turning his attention to reporting all that’s new in the world of technology.

Mossberg’s Personal Technology column became a feature of the paper and has appeared in almost without a break every Thursday since 1991 as well as editing the paper’s Digital Solution column, which is written by Katherine Boehret. Outside of the Journal Mossberg also appears on the Fox Business Network.

In 1999, Mossberg gained a particular distinction as becoming the first and only technology writer to ever receive the Loeb award for Commentary, while two years later he was awarded the World Technology Award for Media and Journalism.

Mossberg is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers on information technology as well as having been the highest paid journalist at the Journal.

 

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