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Stealth Hyperlocal News Network Targets Newspaper Monopolies

Steve Rubel
Expert Author
Published: 2004-11-29

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A stealth project called Pegasus News plans to launch a beta test in Dallas in late 2005 to distribute local news content and advertising via the web, e-newsletters, RSS feeds, a daily print edition, SMS messaging and other mediums, according to an inside source who contacted me.

The source currently runs a division of a major media company. Pegasus plans to follow this initial effort with local advertising-supported news sites in 25 major U.S. cities that have a monopoly newspaper.

The company recently launched a blog to diary the evolution of their concepts. On their blog, the company's anonymous entrepreneurs say their key differentiators are:

  • Hyper-local news, with neighborhood coverage producing 10x the local news and information of the incumbent providers.

  • Open source journalism: The immediacy of blogging with the spelling, punctuation and fact checking of real journalists.

  • Edgy, insightful news with opinion and personality.

  • Fully integrated local news model: Website, email, text messaging, print, radio and TV.

  • Innovative subscription model: Price based on level of engagement - more active and engaged users pay less (or nothing).

  • Innovative advertising model: Pay-for-performance advertising on both digital and analog (print) products. Proprietary processes allow for performance tracking in real-time.

  • Lower cost structure than legacy media.

  • Experienced team with leadership experience across all media streams.

  • While not a lot is known about Pegasus right now, they certainly talk big. In particular they seem to be openly targeting Belo's newspaper group. Still, there are a few blog posts that point to what's up their sleeves. Start with their core principles, elevator speech and a post entitled Volume I, Number I and subscribe to their RSS feed.

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    About the Author:
    Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

    He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.

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