David Westphal of USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review says several laid off reporters have figured out how to pay the bills by starting local news Web sites:
- Tracy Record and Patrick Sand, another husband/wife team who operate West Seattle Blog, are getting revenue in the high five figures. Debbie Galant, co-owner of Baristanet, earned more from the site than she did from her free-lance writing business last year. And Bob Gough, who runs Quincy News, pockets $1,000 a week in wages from his startup that serves an Illinois community of only 40,000.
Gough, fired from his TV news job in the fall of 2007, may be Exhibit A for the potential of independent news sites. A one-man band, Gough has mined 40 Quincy advertisers, writes about the heart of civic and political life in town and is now hoping to expand by hiring additional staff. His two original investors are also thinking growth, looking at the possibility of replicating the Quincy News model elsewhere.