Politics-free newsletter startup 6AM hits 1m subscribers - Press Gazette

Local newsletter startup 6AM City eyes expansion and revenues of $10m after hitting 1m subscribers

6AM subscribers

Local newsletter company 6AM City says it now has 1m email subscribers across its titles.

The business, which avoids crime and politics in its newsletters, currently has 24 local newsletters, having added 16 in 2021. It plans to be in at least 30 cities across the United States by the end of 2022 and expects to generate revenues of $10m this year.

In a statement announcing its latest figures, 6AM CEO Ryan Johnston said: “We spent the past six years perfecting a highly scalable model for creating and growing our hyper-local newsletters in cities large and small.”

Click here to subscribe to Press Gazette’s must-read newsletters, Future of Media and Future of Media US

In its prospective markets, 6AM City says it “has established partnerships with organizations looking to expedite economic recovery, including economic development entities, professional sports teams, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem”. Those partnerships, as well as their relationships with advertisers, are driving its expansion choices.

“By the end of 2022, 6AM City will be operating in 30 or more cities, and continues an expansion strategy to operate in 100 or more cities over the coming years,” it said in a statement.

The company is currently advertising for four city editor roles, one of which will be in Tampa, Florida, (pictured) where 6AM is aiming to launch by July.

The South Carolina-based company told Press Gazette in July last year that it had 450,000 subscribers. It was then publishing its free newsletters in nine cities. By January this year, it was in 24.

Speaking to Press Gazette in 2021, 6AM City co-founder Ryan Heafy attributed much of the business’ success to its no-politics, no-crime approach to news.

“Even if it was the mayor or somebody getting charged with some crazy sexual assault thing or murder or whatever, we don’t touch it”. Heafy said the aversion to politics helped it appeal to readers across the political divide.

The company is one of several that is currently expanding its local newsletter presence. Press Gazette reported in January on 6AM’s race against Axios Local in the United States.

In the UK, the Manchester Mill celebrated 1,000 paying subscribers in December 2021.

And the UK’s largest regional publisher, Reach, last month announced it would be creating a 12-strong team dedicated to launching new newsletters with the backing of Google. The company told Press Gazette this month it already distributes 400 different newsletters, though not all are locally focused.

Picture: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images



Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.