Pundit/Web publisher Arianna Huffington is delving into local news with her Huffington Post brand, she told a gathering at the Future of Journalism event hosted by the Guardian media company. Huffington will start with a Chicago Web site that aggregates news, sports, business and other reportage from other media sources, along with the best of Chicago’s blogs. A lone editor will “curate” the site.
Huffington, founder of the “Internet newspaper” HuffingtonPost.com, sees the venture as the first of many local sites located in “dozens of U.S. cities.” Her local media plans were previously reported in the England-based Guardian.
Huffington’s plans come as TV stations set out to rework themselves as local media companies, not simply television outlets, featuring a wide range of information beyond televised newscasts. Station groups are also increasingly reaching out to the blog community for better local reach, such as the CBS O&Os’ revenue-sharing Local Ad Network.
"We are aspiring to be a newspaper in that we want to covering all news, not just the political blogging the way we began," said Huffington at the conference. “[Huffington Post political editor] Tom Edsell has been mentoring a small team of young reporters who have done a great job breaking news through the election cycle. We are working on our third round of financing and a lot of money raised will go to expanding that reporting team."
A Huffington Post spokesperson said more details would be revealed in the coming weeks.