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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

July 17, 2007 / Toby Dayton

Washington Post Keeps Getting It Right

The Washington Post, continuing to strengthen its position as one of, if not THE most thoughtful, innovative, and successful newspaper in the country, launched LoudonExtra.com yesterday. The site is a hyper-local site dedicated to Loudoun County, Virginia. The site contains local news, restaurant reviews, a calendar of local events (the first event relates to celebrating Ice Cream Day), web cams, videos, photos, user-generated content, local sports stories, school news, local blogs, and a bunch of local database listings. The site was launched with a lead, multi-month advertising sponsor already in place and is being promoted through a multimedia advertising campaign.

The site serves as a perfect example of the types of things that local, metro daily newspapers should be doing. Unfortunately for everyone, almost none are. Rather than expanding local coverage, embracing local communities and the thousands of potential contributors within them, and capitalizing on the unique brand they can apply to that coverage, the vast majority of daily papers are cutting costs, reducing coverage, ignoring online trends, and striving for homogeneity. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, for example, just announced that they were eliminating coverage of the Twins’ minor league results and activities. While external market forces are certainly creating a challenging environment for daily newspapers, the complete lack of innovation and foresight, combined with horrendously inept management and strategic decision-making are by far the largest contributors to their inevitable demise.

[tags]Washington Post, LoudounExtra.com, Hyper-Local Web Sites, Local Classifieds, Daily Newspapers, Death of the Dailies, Decline of the Dailies, Minnesota Twins, Minor League Baseball[/tags]