A new L.A. news site has grown out of the ashes of AOL Inc.’s Patch – the hyperlocal news network that cut many of its journalists and editors in Los Angeles earlier this year under financial duress.
In March, shortly after Patch’s implosion, Chris Jennewein, a former senior regional editor for the network in Southern California, launched an online-only news site, Times of San Diego.
Last week, he announced the launch of his second site, aimed at L.A. readers, called MyNewsLA. The site will cover general news topics such as crime, business and sports, but intends to do so with minimal overhead.
“One of the things that struck me at Patch was that the concept was great, but the overheard was very high,” Jennewein said. “It was a national network with an expensive operation in New York. We don’t have that.”
The site employs two full-time editors who work remotely, and gathers much of its content from wire reports and other information available online.
Jennewein, who is editorial director, also oversees the site’s advertising business, which relies on automated sales of banner ads through Google Inc. and AOL.
The sites use search-engine optimization to drive traffic, Jennewein said. The San Diego site attracts about 200,000 unique visitors a month, and about half of those are on mobile devices.
The strategy of targeting large metropolitan areas departs from the Patch model, which was geared toward specific neighborhoods and communities, something Jennewein expects will draw bigger crowds.
He said that he invested personal funds into the launch of the sites, although he declined to say how much.
Radio station conglomerate iHeartMedia is staging a music festival at the Forum next month aimed at Latinos – and it could be the first of many.
The company, which changed its name last month from Clear Channel, is co-producing the event along with concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment of Beverly Hills.
Tom Poleman, iHeartMedia president of national programming platforms, said launching a festival that appeals to the large number of Spanish speakers in Los Angeles was an obviously attractive opportunity.
“It’s just natural that we would create a festival for the incredibly important Hispanic audience in L.A.,” Poleman said.
The Nov. 22 festival’s lineup includes big names such as Ricky Martin and Pitbull, and up-and-coming acts such as reggaeton artist J. Balvin and L.A. singer Becky G, who gained her following on YouTube.
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