By: E&P Staff
The Texas Tribune, the non-profit news service created to promote “civic engagement,” exceeded the $3.5 million target in its launch campaign fund, its chairman, John Thornton, said in a note to readers Monday.
“We are happy to report we raised close to $4 million,” wrote Thornton. The venture capital businessman compared the Texas Tribune to for-profit startups. “Such a venture seeks to raise enough equity capital to sustain it until its revenue and expense lines cross,” he wrote. “The more we raise, the longer we have to establish a sustainable business model.”
Thornton said the Tribune has 68 corporate sponsors, most of whom have made a $2,500 commitment to the enterprise. “There are more than 1,500 good and decent souls out there who’ve contributed between $50 and $5,000 to the Trib; the average gift is just short of $98.,” he added.
“I’m pretty sure we launched with more founding members than any other online nonprofit news startup, but we have a long way to go,” Thornton wrote. “Texas is a big state; I can’t for the life of me see why we shouldn’t have 20,000 members.”
Texas Weekly is using Tribune content and “continues to be a reliable source of income for us,” Thornton said, adding, “we have ambitious goals to expand its paid subscribership even as we evolve its content in exciting new directions.”
He said the Tribune is looking at specialty publications as a “very important revenue stream.”