Founder of ContentNext, the publisher of digital media news site paidContent.org, Rafat Ali has announced he will leave the company in early July.
ContentNext, which also publishes paidContent:UK, mocoNews,net and contentSutra.com, was bought by Guardian News & Media in July 2008. The deal marked the next step in GNM’s US expansion plans, the group said at the time. But in a farewell post on paidContent.org, Ali hints at the difficulties of moving from start-up to big media ownership:
The last two years under Guardian have been illuminating, to say the least. Being part of a big company brings its own level of complexities; during a huge financial crisis, it makes for a roller-coaster ride. The high of the sale dissipated quickly, and pulling back and hunkering down isn’t fun, much less entrepreneurial. To Guardian’s credit, amidst the mothership’s own perfect storm, they stood by us, and we have survived, though much smaller.
I am leaving the company while the editorial is still at the peak of its reputation, even though we are half the team we used to be. It really is a miracle. And the edit leadership under our ME Ernie Sander and my longtime partner-in-crime and co-editor Staci D Kramer gets the full credit for it, as do our scrappy group of talented journalists. The business side is a rebuild-in-process that I hope Guardian continues to support in kind and spirit.
The sites will continue under managing editor Ernie Sander.