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PoliticsNow no longer

One of the most prominent news sites during the election season has closed down.

"So long. PoliticsNow is offline."

That was the opening line that greeted visitors to the PoliticsNow Web site today after its publishers, ABC News, the Washington Post Company, and National Journal Incorporated, closed the site that recorded as many as 1.5 million hits a day during the election-year frenzy.

"PoliticsNow fulfilled the special needs of an election year with journalistic skill and a unique sense of style," said Marc Teren, president of Digital Ink, the online arm of the Washington Post, in a statement.

A message on the Web site added: "Reflecting the changing nature of the Web, the partners decided to focus their political coverage on their individual online initiatives. The cutting edge successes of PoliticsNow will enable each partner to improve and perfect its own online venture."

The 20 people who worked on the site will have to find other jobs. But a spokeswoman for Digital Ink said today that she was optimistic that the laid-off workers would find jobs with one of the three partners, which all are expanding other online operations.

PoliticsNow kept visitors abreast of election results and offered categories such as "news and views," "briefing book," and "resources." It was also known for adding a wryly humorous twist to otherwise soporific election coverage.

But not all politics sites are dead in the water. Tomorrow, another political Web site, AllPolitics, will launch an extensive redesign with more in-depth stories. It also will start a free weekly online newsletter that recaps the major stories of the week. The new design stems from "changes in the post-election political landscape and user feedback," according to the site, jointly operated by CNN and Time.