The NY Observer gets the NY Times to help promote its newest project: Politicker.com, a planned network of 50 local politics sites – one for each state. Each microsite will have a handful of staffers, who will produce “an intensely local source for political articles, speculation and scandal.”
Politicker has 10 sites up so far, and Kentucky goes live this week. It hopes to have 20 up by the fall elections, and the remainder up next year.
Sounds great. How’s it going? Observer owner Jared Kushner says his New Jersey site is already profitable, but the NYT notes that some Politicker outposts, like its Vermont site, seem roundly ignored.
Our bigger worry for Kushner and crew: Even if the sites find an audience (and sustain them after the election), how are you going to make the ad dollars work? It’s one thing to string together networks of sites with national reach — as Nick Denton’s Gawker Media has done — but selling regional audiences to online advertisers will be much tougher.
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