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Xconomy planning to launch Silicon Valley site, ship Roush west

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 3, 2010 11:00 AM

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Xconomy founder Bob Buderi confirms this morning that the Cambridge-based start-up is planning to launch its fifth local business news site in Silicon Valley. Buderi, formerly the editor of MIT's Technology Review magazine, also says that chief correspondent Wade Roush will return to the Bay Area, where he'd long worked as a reporter and editor for Tech Review, to open the Xconomy bureau there.

As to rumors I'd heard that Gregory Huang, Xconomy's Seattle editor (and a one-time Bostonian), was moving east to take over Roush's old post, Buderi said, "There's going to be a series of promotions and additions, but we're not ready to announce them yet."

Xconomy launched a news site in Detroit earlier this spring, and Buderi says there are other cities (in the U.S. and outside it) on his radar screen. "Our goal has been to build not just a national network, but an international network," he says. The company has raised two rounds of funding from investors including CommonAngels and Launch Capital, the most recent round last spring. Xconomy has also been cutting deals with Web sites like the Motley Fool and newspapers like the Globe to syndicate its stories. The company has ten full-time employees, Buderi says.

Buderi agrees that San Francisco may be the most competitive media market Xconomy has yet entered, with sites like GigaOm, Venture Beat, and TechCrunch assiduously covering company launches, fundings, and acquisitions. "I have tremendous respect for those guys, who have been real pioneers in business-to-business blogs. It's crowded, sure, but we think we'll be clearly differentiated." One way is by covering the life sciences industry more than the entrenched players; another, Buderi says, is by writing longer narrative profiles of companies.

I ran into Roush last night when he was covering the TechStars Boston demo night, and asked him about the upcoming move. He said he couldn't talk about it on the record yet... and so we had a nice off-the-record chat about the City by the Bay (where I, too, lived for a couple years in the middle of the decade.)

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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