Raycom Media is partnering with DataSphere Technologies to
launch what it says will be "hundreds" of local community news websites. The
first of Raycom's "LocalNet" sites will be up and running before the end of
DataSphere has launched a similar local web strategy with
Fisher Communications in markets that include Seattle
and Portland. Portland, for one, has 30
community sites up and running thus far, offering localized news to the various
communities and appealing to local advertisers that may have previously passed
on TV advertising.
Fisher announced a $1.5 million investment in Bellevue-based DataSphere last
The websites will be launched in cities served by Raycom's stations, which
include WCSC Charleston and WOIO Cleveland, and will "provide local communities
with the best source of information about news, events, entertainment and
personalities relevant to their day-to-day lives," said Raycom in a statement.
"Local businesses will also benefit from the opportunity to reach their
potential customer base within a compelling new context."
"Raycom's focus has always been on contributing to the local community,
seeking out divergent points of view and creating an atmosphere of community
dialogue," said Raycom Media President/CEO Paul
McTear. "DataSphere's LocalNet service will allow us to further
fulfill this vision rapidly, and with greater efficiency than would otherwise