The Logic puts the focus on its reader

The news site steers clear of display ads but will have sponsorship opportunities for brands outside of its website.

A new journalism outlet is putting its reader experience at the forefront by ditching web ads.

Soft launched June 12, The Logic features subscription options for its original journalism, a daily newsletter revolving around Canadian innovation, and select advertising opportunities for companies that want to align themselves with its reporting.

According to The Logic‘s CEO and editor-in-chief, David Skok, today’s competitive journalistic landscape leaves room for original reporting.

Skok sees roughly 90% of the news ecosystem being divided into entertainment and reactionary news, leaving a generous portion for something more. “We believe that there’s an avenue or a space for that remaining 10% to do original works of journalism that try to not chase the headlines but in fact provide real value to our readers and our community,” he said.

Skok is an industry veteran, with experience across radio, television, print and online platforms, having once been the head of editorial strategy at The Toronto Star and managing editor and VP of digital at The Boston Globe.

“For me, through those experiences, I felt like we were entering another era of media,” he said. “I think there’s an opportunity for news startups with far lower cost structures, with far lower barriers to entry and [an] incredible supply of journalistic talent to actually have impact.”

His small newsroom consists of five staffers, including Skok, two interns and a San Francisco-based contributing editor.

Events will be a large part of The Logic‘s reader experience, with subscribers being invited to attend journalism events that surround issues and topics significant to its readership, as well as share articles that are behind the paywall and have the ability to take part in “The Logic Council,” a place for readers to have members-only conversations.

A full subscription to the platform costs a global, standard rate of $300 a year. According to Skok, The Logic will put the reader first by limiting operating costs and funnelling most of the subscription dollars (approximately 70%, according to Skok) directly to its newsroom.

“Our M.O. is fairly simple. Hire the best reporters you can, try to pay them what they’re worth and then get out of their way and watch them work,” he said. “Our bet is that readers will want the same thing.”

One thing you won’t see on The Logic‘s website, however, are ads. According to Skok, that decision lies in the user experience. “I could write the best lede to a story or have the best article in the world, but if it doesn’t load on your phone in under 2.5 milliseconds, then it’s not worth reading,” he said. “Putting ads on the site, in my view, would have distracted us from that core focus, which is on our readers.”

Skok said he hopes to partner with brands and companies in the future, which may come in in the form of corporate subscriptions, group discounts or sponsorships related to its events – with a focus on reaching the right audience, rather than a mass audience.

The site will also occasionally feature articles “presented by” advertisers, he said.

“I think offline sponsorships and partnerships is where we can really make both parties happy – the clients and us as a publishing organization,” he said, adding that opportunities for advertisers to get involved outside of the website include events, daily newsletter sponsorship and a vertical being rolled out called “The Intelligence Section.”

“One of our promises to our readers is that if you subscribe it’s about you. And in being about you, we hope that advertisers will also want it be about the reader as opposed to being a blanket, ‘Let’s get X number of impressions on a large-scale site,’” he said.

“There are others out there that do that. I think our real value is that we’re going to be able to give you an influential, thoughtful, constructive audience that cares deeply about the future of the country and, as an advertiser, I would hope that that’s appealing.”