• Kim Kardashian
    Bauer Xcel titles like In Touch Weekly write lots of stories on Kim Kardashian

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    Bauer Xcel Media US wants to be at the forefront of using data and analytics.

  • The US digital offshoot of the German media giant encourages its editors and sales teams to collaborate
  • Bauer editors take into account what content will make the most money from ads when making decisions on what to cover.

Editors are supposed to think about what their readers are interested in. They’re not traditionally supposed to think about whether their content is going to make the company money.

But things are different at Bauer Xcel Media US.

The company is an offshoot of the German media giant Bauer Media Group. It manages the US web operations for the traditional magazines such as InTouch Weekly, Life&Style and Woman’s World, as well as several digital-only brands.

Unlike many publishers, Bauer Xcel encourages its editorial and sales teams to share intel.

And while the sales side never tells anybody what stories to write about, Bauer editors are frequently in touch with their revenue-focused counterparts on what topics of coverage might be ripe for more ad sales revenue, and how different story layouts and formats might help the company make more money from ads at a given moment, for example.

That sort of thinking would be sacrilegious at many old school media organizations, where the edit and sales teams may rarely interact, if not enjoy a degree of sibling rivalry.

Historically, media organizations put walls up between these two groups (figuratively and sometimes literally) to preserve editorial independence. The idea roughly is that journalists should cover the news without being influenced by whatever companies are paying to advertise with their media outlet.

“We don’t have the same church and state issues,” said Mike Shaughnessy, vice president of revenue.

This comes at a time when many traditional media companies are struggling to translate their once profit-rich offline businesses to digital media, where outside of giants like Google and Facebook many companies struggle to survive on typically lower-priced web ads. The philosophy at Bauer could provide some clues about the future of the digital publishing business, a future where…