By: Carl Sullivan
Nando Media, the interactive division of The McClatchy Co., Sacramento, Calif., recently purchased three community publishing tools from Waveshift Inc. of Cameron Park, Calif.
Nando bought the technology and customer base for YourTown, MyCalendar, and Webforums — which are licensed to about 100 newspaper Web sites across the country, according to James A. Green, Nando’s president and publisher based in Raleigh, N.C.
Waveshift said it will now focus its development and marketing energies on its SportsHuddle software, which manages and publishes high school sports stats for newspapers. “We have wanted to focus on SportsHuddle, and this transaction gives us the ability to do so,” said Waveshift President Andy Beal in a statement.
McClatchy was an investor in Waveshift until this sale, said Christian Hendricks, McClatchy’s vice president, interactive media. He said the company has retained three Waveshift employees as contractors to assist with the transition.
“We still believe in community publishing,” Hendricks said. “It’s low cost, a traffic builder, and we believe it’s what we should be doing in our communities.” Hendricks added that an online community publishing system could eventually become the central processing center for newsroom calendars and databases of local information. “Right now, gathering calendar information isn’t very efficient,” he said, with information arriving by fax, phone, and the mail. If newspapers can get the community to use an online interface, they’ll save themselves a lot of headaches and hassles.
Some newspaper chains have given up on online community publishing. “Other companies have said it doesn’t make money, and they’re not going to do it,” Hendricks said. “We haven’t given up on this.”
The Waveshift products can be purchased separately or bundled with Nando’s Digital Workbench Publishing System, which is currently used by all McClatchy newspapers, save one. Nando has licensed the online publishing technology to two dozen non-McClatchy newspapers, Green said.