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Consider it a baby chain. Today, with broad ambitions, two of America’s young, dynamic, millennials-targeting, mobile-first city news companies are merging. They’ll take the name of the older (by 19 months) company, Spirited Media.
That company, funded and founded by serial digital news entrepreneur Jim Brady, opened up Philly’s Billy Penn in October 2014 and Pittsburgh’s The Incline, six months ago. Merging into Spirited is Denverite, the 10-month-old startup bankrolled by investors Gordon Crovitz, Kevin Ryan, and Jim Friedlich. The new company, to be led by Brady as CEO, vision-setter, and cheerleader, also counts Gannett as a minority investor as the country’s largest news company aims to learn tricks of the newer trade.
The combined company will employ 27, 21 of them content-creating journalists. In total, the three sites combined, by their internal counts, reach about 1 million readers per month. Given the newness of their sites, Continue reading "Newsonomics: With a cross-country merger, Spirited Media aims to build a nationwide digital local news chain"
That site, it’s easy to forget, stood with just a few others at the head of the class among mid-aughts newspaper sites. Brady left the Post in 2009 and his decade of work tracks the vicissitudes of the American news industry. In addition to consulting for both The Guardian and Philadelphia Media Network, he took on entrepreneurial roles first as founding general manager of the Washington D.C. city site TBD and Digital First Media’s ill-fated Project Thunderdome under then-CEO John Paton.
After Thunderdome imploded, Brady told me he was rethinking the idea of working for others; he had a notion of building his own news business, leveraging all he’d learned. Spirited Media, the parent company of millennial-oriented, smartphone-centric Billy Penn Continue reading "Jim Brady: Events and experiences are key to connecting younger audiences to local news"
There’s a kind of experience that’s particular to Twitter: A casual user, curious about the latest bit of Trump news, checks the service to see what people who have experience with these issues are saying in real-time, glimpsing a tweetstorm punctuated by egg-avatared trolls, irrelevant replies, and maybe a few good criticisms. It can be overwhelming. (Even in a crazy election year, Twitter added no monthly active users in the U.S..)
Sidewire — proclaiming to be “where experts chat in public” — wants to squeeze out the trolling and abuse prevalent on platforms like Twitter and clear a space for calm discussion free of social media “noise.” It limits chat participants on the platform to vetted “newsmakers” and trims conversation topics to just a handful of the most consequential or debateworthy news events. Launched in September 2015, it now hosts around 800 “verified experts,” around a third