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August 18, 2009

Washington Post’s Loudoun Extra hyper-local project to close

By conrad

The Washington Post has announced that its hyper-local journalism site LoudounExtra.com is to close after two years, claiming the project’s lack of sustainability was the reason for its demise.

The Post is to move all content featured on the site to WashingtonPost.com, and expects to close the site by September.

Kris Coratti, Washington Post director of communications, told the Loudoun Independent: “[w]hile the Washington Post remains dedicated to maintaining a high level of coverage of the counties surrounding Washington, D.C., we found that our experiment with LoudounExtra.com as a separate site was not a sustainable model”

The project was aimed as a pilot to reach to grass roots communties around Washington DC, however it quickly attracted negative press. LoudounExtra.com was the subject of a Wall Street Journal article entitled “Big Daily’s hyperlocal flop” a year after its launch.

LoudounExtra’s chief architect Rob Curley left the project after a year for the Las Vegas Sun.

Curley was quoted at the time as saying the site’s problems were poor integration with the Washington Post’s main site and ineffective outreach to the community, although he defended the principle of news sites targeting people on the local level.

The news of this local sites demise comes within a day of MSNBC.com acquiring local information aggregator EveryBlock in a deal rumoured to be worth several million dollars.

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