Gannett to Launch Local Websites in Key Markets

By: The Associated Press

(AP) Gannett Co., one of the nation’s biggest media companies, said Tuesday that its broadcasting arm is launching new local websites in 10 of its markets.

The company said the new sites will be integrated with the websites of its TV stations and carry community news contributed by the sites’ visitors along with content produced by its own staff.

Media companies have been looking for ways to boost their local coverage as a way to set themselves apart from competition on the Web. The idea is to offer news that national outlets don’t and give local businesses a way to closely target potential customers in their area.

One way to do that without the cost of hiring the many reporters it would take to cover every neighborhood in detail is to ask for material from locals on news and events.

Gannett, the country’s biggest newspaper publisher with USA Today and more than 80 other dailies, said it will be setting up the new sites with help from a company called DataSphere Technologies Inc., which provides software and ad sales.

The sites will cover Atlanta, Washington, Tampa, Fla., Sacramento, Calif., Grand Rapids, Mich., Jacksonville, Fla., Buffalo, N.Y., Little Rock, Ark., Portland, Maine, and Macon, Ga.

Gannett shares rose 38 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $16.16 in morning trading amid broad market gains.


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