Legal Times, which has reported on the D.C. legal and lobbying communities since 1978, is merging with one of its sibling publications, The National Law Journal.
The combined publication will focus on national legal news, with a special emphasis on Washington, and it will carry the name The National Law Journal. It will publish continuously on the Web and weekly in print, with the first combined print edition expected in May. A redesign of its Web site is planned in the next several months.
Incisive Media, which owns the two newspapers, made the announcement in a news release this morning after notifying the staffs at both publications. Stephen Lincoln, publisher of The National Law Journal, will continue in that role. David Brown, publisher and editor in chief of Legal Times, will become the editor of the combined publication.
“This effort is going to create a single publication that will have greater editorial scope and reporting strength,” Brown said in a statement. “It’s going to give our readers more of everything: More columns, more features, and more context from Washington and the throughout the nation.
“It’s critically important for us to our long-term success to have a strong Washington presence,” he added. “And this merger is going to ensure that.”
Subscribers to Legal Times will automatically begin receiving the combined publication, which is expected to include a section concentrating on Washington news. They will also receive access to The National Law Journal’s online features and surveys, including the annual NLJ 250 rankings.
The merger brings together two long-time rivals that have competed on national legal news for decades, even after their parent companies combined in 1997 when American Lawyer Media agreed to buy National Law Publishing. The National Law Journal, which was also founded in 1978, has the largest paid circulation of any weekly legal publication.
At a staff meeting in Washington, Brown and Lincoln cited two main factors in the decision to merge the newspapers: declining revenue as a result of the recession, which has affected the publishing industry severely, and the fact that Washington news is often considered to be national news. Incisive Media, which is privately held, is based in London with a North American division based in New York.
Brown and Lincoln said they expect the merger to result eventually in a smaller staff. No layoffs were announced today.
Marcia Coyle, chief Washington correspondent for The National Law Journal, and Tony Mauro, Supreme Court correspondent for Legal Times and Incisive Media, will continue to write for the new publication, according to the news release.
In addition to offices in New York and Washington, The National Law Journal has bureaus in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.