Gannett Invests to Boost Product-Review Site, Hoping to Rival New York Times’s Wirecutter


Newspaper publisher Gannett Co. has doubled the number of staffers at its product-review website over the past 18 months, looking to expand its digital reach as print advertising and circulation revenues face continued pressure.

The Gannett site, called Reviewed, is taking direct aim at Wirecutter, a popular products-review site owned by the New York Times Co. , and BestReviews, a similar rival that Nexstar Media Group Inc. acquired last year for $160 million in cash. Gannett operates more than 250 newspapers, including USA Today.

The push comes after e-commerce surged and ad spending declined for a time during the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing pressure on media organizations to hunt for new revenue streams and to shore up their digital businesses.

“Top-line revenue has grown 50% every year for the last three years, and our projections for 2021 are around the same percentage,” said Chris Lloyd, general manager of Reviewed. He declined to provide dollar revenues.

Mr. Lloyd said the site’s staff has increased to 80 full-time employees. Most new hires are editors and writers who work at the company’s 25,000-square-foot testing lab in Cambridge, Mass. Reviews are published online at Reviewed.com and across the USA Today Network, meaning any of Gannett’s newspapers can run articles written by Reviewed staffers.



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