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NBC, HuffPo Vie For NYC-Centric Readers

imageMost cities can barely support two metro newspapers, but the race to become hyperlocal among media companies could recreate the newspaper battles of old. New York City is shaping up as a potential hot spot for a hyper-local media war, as both Huffington Post and NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) aim to expand their city-centric efforts there this summer, Beet.TV’s Daisy Whitney reports. HuffPo launched its online Chicago outpost last August. The NYC site is expected to be up next month.

Meanwhile, NBC Universal, which has been pushing its local TV stations to recreate their websites as independent identities, is currently beta testing its hyperlocalized NYC site. It has similar plans for its nine other station sites over the next few months. It’s partnering with New York magazine and others to add content to the site. Beet.TV’s video and more, after the jump

The local area has certainly been heating up lately. Back in February, the started its plan to create a series of neighborhood sites for readers in New York and New Jersey, joining established hyperlocal operators like EveryBlock,, Placeblogger and the Tim Armstrong-backed Patch.

Part of the sudden attraction media companies have for hyperlocal is that as the usual, larger advertisers pull back or shift ad spending, the local advertisers that have typically been the purview of directories represents an otherwise untapped market. Still, local isn’t doing so great either these days, and as car dealerships close, that could also make content companies’ local plans all the more difficult.