Tough times for Backfence, which operates “hyper local” community news web sites in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and San Mateo as well as several others in the Washington, D.C. and Chicago area. Chief executive and co-founder Susan DeFife (right) has resigned and the company has laid off 12 of its 18 employees, according to Peter Krasilovsky, who blogs on the subject of New Media. DeFife is quoted as saying, “Ultimately, we did not share the same strategic vision for the company as the Board of Directors.” DeFife says Backfence sold 550 ads to local businesses since April 2006. Co-founder Mark Potts will take over the company. Krasilovsky got a number of comments that reveal the state of online community journalism today.

SF Press Club News

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