The pandemic put STAT on the map

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2020 was STAT’s banner year, and officials say they expect continued growth for the foreseeable future.

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why it matters: State co-founder and executive editor Rick Burke said, “I have never worried about the post-pandemic decline because the last two years have seen us in a whole new league in terms of readership, reach and our brand identity. has been delivered.” “We are not going back pre-pandemic.”

description: “From 2020 to 2021, our revenue grew 40 percent, which exceeded our estimates: specifically, subscription revenue grew 24 percent; Ads, 51 percent, and events, 79 percent,” Burke said in a memo to employees.

  • The company has been profitable for some time, and STAT chief business officer Angus Macaulay says it “expects to be profitable next year as well”.
  • By the end of the year, the company will have about 80 employees, up from about 50 at the end of 2020. The company plans to continue recruitment next year.
  • The company has doubled its engineering and product teams.
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STAT’s business depends on three Main Revenue Streams: Subscriptions, Ads and Events. While all three sectors have expanded, events – even virtually – have shown the greatest increase.

  • “We plan to go back to in-person events next year,” Macaulay said, barring any pandemic issues. STAT organizes three major summits every year that focus on specific topics such as health technology and scientific discovery. Tickets go for about $300 per person.
  • On the subscription front, Burke says, “we’re putting more and more behind the paywall and it’s paid off.” STAT was one of the first media companies in the US to drop its paywall for COVID-19 coverage last year.
  • “Our advertising business is growing, but if we lose it tomorrow we’ll still have a huge financial foundation,” Burke said. The company relies on donations and philanthropic support to underwrite key features and projects.

STAT started using With some new businesses this year.

  • It launched “State Trials Pulse” — a real-time clinical trial data and trends product — earlier this year with machine learning company Applied XL.
  • It has hired a community leader to create programs that connect readers and customers.
  • STAT also launched its second podcast, and says it’s a third on the way to the intersection of race and science. Its Documentary film A science television program produced by WGBH in Boston is being broadcast about prosthetics on Nova.
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big picture: Most news media companies have seen a decrease in traffic this year in response to a new presidency and low news interest in COVID-19.

But Burke says STAT’s audience continues to grow, as it has built a reputation for authoritative coverage of all health and science stories.

  • “We just don’t hang our hat on COVID coverage and we never have,” says Burke, referring to new projects tracking underlying racial disparities in health and medicine and the FDA’s decision to approve the first new treatment for Alzheimer’s. Referring to the coverage of
  • Company’s largest. one of the inspection This year, Epic, the country’s largest electronic health records vendor, revealed the ways it was selling algorithms to hospitals that provided false information.
  • “Our coverage this year has proved that we are not a one-trick pony,” he said. One example: STAT launched a beat exclusively on cancer last month.

what to watch: STAT’s initial seed funding came in 2015 from owners John Henry and Linda Pizzutti Henry. The couple also owns The Boston Globe. Linda serves as Chief Executive of Boston Globe Media Partners.

  • “I think Linda has made no secret that she sees STAT as a model for other potentially niche publications for the overall Boston Globe media,” Burke said.

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