Meanwhile, as bigger portals continue to buy local sites (Patch, EveryBlock), newspapers continue to close them: latest example is Washington Post (NYSE: WPO), which is closing its only standalone local site LoudonExtra, two years after the hyperlocal site launched. The rationale from the company, as told to Loudoun Independent, by a WaPo spokesperson: “We found that our experiment with LoudounExtra.com as a separate site was not a sustainable model.”
The site will be turned off in September and all the content will be migrated to the main WaPo site. The site was launched in 2007, but failed to gain any traction, partly because the interactive execs who worked on the site and effort left soon after, resulting in no attention/promotion from the main site, and partly because WaPo’s still struggling to define its way with its online strategy. The other planned hyperlocal site Fairfaxextra.com never materialized.