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Hyperlocal Gets Highbrow In Public TV Online Video Joint Venture

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A large part of success is making the right connections early on. That lesson isn’t lost on the start-up Capital New York, a literary and cultural online-only news mag that is solely focused on the Big *Apple*. Just two months into its beta launch and still fairly unknown outside of the city’s large media circle, Capital New York is getting a big profile boost — and possibly some revenue — from a video series called City Portraits in a joint venture with local PBS affiliate WNET’s

The introduction of City Portraits, which hit’s website at midnight last night, is part of the way Capital NY is hoping to make prove that new, independent online content doesn’t necessarily have to be presented as short, nasty and brutish in order to capture attention and revenue. The site’s understated, anti-hyperbolic ethos is summed up by a headline that appeared the other day: Anthony Weiner on the issues, calmly.

So it makes sense that it would want to partner with the city’s main local PBS station. Still, it’s worth asking WNET, which is in the middle of a major expansion of its digital property, why it would want to work with a site that’s barely eight weeks old.

“ will be focusing on local content going forward, with a particular emphasis on current affairs and arts,” said Dan Greenberg, senior director for interactive at WNET, in an interview with paidContent. “We became introduced to Capital New York early on and recognized them as a natural partner. Their focus is in line with our mission.”

For WNET, working with Capital NY is also its way of trying to adapt to the hyperlocal media environment. But since this is New York City and not the suburbs, instead of covering bakesales and school board meetings, it’s areas of interest is in politics, culture and the arts, which also dovetails with its TV programming. The idea for expanding into independent local online content beyond Its TV offerings, is reflected in the “supervertical” concept that PBS and WNET began to form earlier this year.

“As local newspapers are dying or reducing coverage in areas like the arts and culture, it