New Hires, Redesigns Coming as ‘Bonita (Fla.) Daily News’ Sharpens Local Focus

By: Jay DeFoore

At a time when most newsrooms are shedding staff, the Bonita Daily News in Lee County, Fla. is bucking that trend in a big way.

The E.W. Scripps-owned Daily News, which is a division of the Naples Daily News, plans to fill 28 new positions in the coming months as part of an initiative to provide more local content and grow its circulation.

Well-known industry veteran Rob Curley, who joined the Naples Daily News in July from the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, is redesigning the BonitaNews.com Web site to include more multi-media and database content.

Curley promised E&P that the new sites, the first of which is scheduled to launch in mid-September, will be “hopped up on Jose Conseco-type steroids.” The new content types include player pages for high school athletes and a searchable restaurant guide that can, as Curley said, pinpoint “who serves affordable Chinese food after 11:00 p.m.”

The print publications of the Bonita Daily News and its sister publication, the Bonita Banner, are also undergoing redesigns.

In an article published on the Napes Daily News’ Web site, publisher John Fish said the goal is to “establish the Bonita Daily News and the Banner as the dominant newspapers” in their communities.

The Banner is also planning to rely on its readers for content, something it has not done previously. Readers will be encouraged to submit stories and photos and community listings through the BonitaNews.com Web site.

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