According to David Kaplan at Paid Content, Gannett Co. is in the process of creating neighborhood news sites in 10 markets where it owns TV stations. Although Gannett owns KARE11 here, Minneapolis-St. Paul is not among the 10.
The reason is straightforward: Gannett’s tech provider, DataSphere, already has an exclusive with Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP, according to KARE News V.P. Tom Lindner.
In a way, I’m happy for Lindner and the KARE newsroom. Legacy media must experiment these days and there’s obviously some lure to niche-y news or all these TV companies wouldn’t be pursuing it. It’s a way to get smaller advertisers into TV’s wheelhouse, and KSTP’s local-local sites do have advertising off what was, in April, about a quarter of MinnPost’s traffic. However, the content is far from must-read and the audience interaction minimal.
It’s possible KSTP’s local-local approach could become a big deal, and KARE will rue the day it was aced out. The geolocation revolution might make micro-news compelling, or at least attractive. But honestly, what I see right now is one more thing for stretched newsrooms to juggle. I don’t think community-news demands are standing in the way of Peabody Awards, but better for now that one newsroom discover the sharp edges of the new toy.