By: Jennie L. Phipps

Local News Providers Regroups

Barbara Johnson, CEO of Streetmail, says she hasn’t visited the
infamous Web site known as ** – The Dot-Com
Deadpool, but she’s been alerted numerous times since Tuesday
that her company is featured there prominently. (As a family
publication, we can’t print the full name of the expletive-laden
Web site.)

“I’m told they called me Babs …” she said of the anonymous
posters to the site, which is actually an online game where
participants try to predict which dot-com will go under next. The
site includes both news and rumors about layoffs and

The site said that Streetmail, the creator of e-mail newsletters
for local communities, had laid off 50 people. Johnson said
that’s not precisely true. The company laid off 16 people out of
100 full-time employees and 30 independent contractors out of
nearly 200 who provide content, working one day a week for about
$250 plus stock options, she said.

Johnson says the company is consolidating newsletters in small
markets and concentrating on selling more advertising in the
remaining ones. Before the restructuring, Streetmail covered 190
communities across the U.S. The company’s newsletters are
distributed primarily through relationships with local Internet
Service Providers.

Johnson started her career as a journalist at The Dallas
Morning News, and was the president of American Lawyer Media
during the time that it launched CourtTV. The founder of
Streetmail is Bo Peabody, who created Tripod and sold it to
Lycos. First and second round financing for Streetmail came from
Village Ventures, Rho Management, and Commerce One, among others.

Jennie L. Phipps (
is an independent writer and editor based in Farmington Hills, Mich.
She writes frequently for E&P Online.

Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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