Hyperlocal News

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Yesterday, we held a press conference in Washington, DC to announce the launch of FiOS1, Verizon’s first local TV news and community information channel. We are fortunate to be partners with Verizon in this very exciting project, and now we can talk about it.

Verizon has made a massive commitment to become a major player in what was formerly the ‘cable’ world. They bring a lot to the table, and they are building and pushing FiOS, their fiber optic cable system, and getting clearances all over the country. FiOS delivers every channel that cable providers like Cox or Comcastdeliver and a whole lot more (like phone or Internet service). Of course, this is a very attractive platform.

About a year ago, Carl Spielvogel, former founder and Chairman of one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, Backer/Spielvogel/Bates and I formed a company, Hyperlocal News, to create a partnerhsip with Verizon. The concept: To build a chain of small, VJ-driven hyperlocal news ‘nodes’ unique to the FiOS system. We would place these nodes within the community and young VJs could go out and find stories really of interest to the community. At the same time, they would become magnets for the burgeoning ‘citizen journalist’ movement.

About 6 months ago, we started hiring and training the VJs for our first ‘node’. Today, they go on the air.

It is a very interesting model for a new kind of cable/broadband hyperlocal news, and for us, a fantastic partner to explore this new world.

One response to “Hyperlocal News

  1. congrats.

    launching in washington dc is really nuts!

    i’ve made this point to you before and am aware that it is their ball to run with.

    i wish you and them nothing but the best.

    i would have thought a college town would have made for a good place to start, but what do i know.

    it will certainly be interesting to see this effort grow!

    i’ve always had an issue with the term “hyperlocal” too. to the ubiq. man-on-the-street it sounds like the neighbor kid who needs his meds adjusted. i would say “community” gives one more a sense of belonging. again, what do i know.

    frank luntz (sp?) has made quite a living off the use of words both in the negative and the positive. that much i do know.

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