HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Opening up the archives: JSTOR wants to tie a library to the news
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
April 29, 2009, 9 a.m.

Is that the defunct New York Sun peeking over the digital horizon?

The New York Sun, which shuttered in September, appears to be making some sort of comeback online.

Amanda Gordon, the erstwhile newspaper’s society columnist, has been blogging on nysun.com since April 10, when she wrote, “I will be resuming Out & About for The New York Sun.” And yesterday the site posted an unsigned editorial as well as a news article by former editor Ira Stoll.

In an email late yesterday afternoon, Sun publisher Seth Lipsky wrote, “Thanks for the inquiry, but I wouldn’t make too much of that activity.” Stoll told me he’s “only tangentially involved with the new New York Sun.” (The stirring at the Sun was first noticed by Kate Klonick in a post at True/Slant.)

More than half a year after the newspaper closed down, its site still attracts more than 100,000 unique visitors per month, according to Compete. That isn’t spectacular traffic, but it’s pretty good for a dead site. And consider that Quantcast estimates the Sun drew 700,000 or so monthly uniques when it employed 110 full-time staffers.

Presumably, almost all of the Sun’s current traffic comes from search-engine referrals to its six-year archive. Evidence that’s probably a valid assumption: The most-viewed story on the Sun’s website right now is “Semi-Nude 15-Year-Olds,” a year-old opinion piece that is, well, not child pornography.

Lipsky told Politico’s Michael Calderone that “a business plan for the site is still in formation.” I think that with aggressive search engine optimization and creative ad sales, the Sun’s morgue could show some signs of a business model. Throw in new content produced by a handful of reporters plus extensive aggregation of other New York media, and the Sun — which reportedly lost $1 million a month as a newspaper — could reemerge as a scrappy yet viable news website. But that’s pure speculation.

Here’s what I do know: The Sun’s previous holding company, One SL LLC — the SL stands for Seth Lipsky — is no longer active. On December 15, someone incorporated Two SL LLC, and that name appeared in the copyright section of the Sun’s website on or before January 4.

Gordon’s Out & About blog first appeared on the Sun’s homepage at the beginning of last week. (UPDATE, 11:23 a.m.: I spoke to Gordon this morning, after this post was published. She explained that her current financial relationship with the Sun is a revenue share with Lipsky from sales of her event photographs.)

A revival of the Sun, in whatever form, would be exciting news for those of us who enjoyed the newspaper’s smart writing and intensely local news coverage. (Before I was a Bostonian, I was a New Yorker.) The Sun launched the careers of several great young writers, most notably Josh Gerstein, who now writes for Politico. (It also employed a litany of my friends.)

Who knows what Lipsky is planning, and his one-sentence email to me yesterday certainly didn’t provide any clues. But I’ll be looking with anticipation toward the eastern horizon.

POSTED     April 29, 2009, 9 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Opening up the archives: JSTOR wants to tie a library to the news
Its new site JSTOR Daily highlights interesting research and offers background and context on current events.
Six fresh ideas for news design from a #SNDMakes designathon
New media and legacy media came together at the second weekend-long “hackathon” hosted by the Society for News Design.
Where you get your news depends on where you stand on the issues
A new study by the Pew Research Center examines how Americans’ news consumption habits correlate with where they fall on the political spectrum.
What to read next
1020
tweets
The newsonomics of the millennial moment
The new wave of news startups is aiming at a younger audience. But do legacy media companies have a chance at earning their attention?
803A mixed bag on apps: What The New York Times learned with NYT Opinion and NYT Now
The two apps were part of the paper’s plan to increase digital subscribers through smaller, targeted offerings. Now, with staff cutbacks on the way, one app is being shuttered and the other is being adjusted.
537Watching what happens: The New York Times is making a front-page bet on real-time aggregation
A new homepage feature called “Watching” offers readers a feed of headlines, tweets, and multimedia from around the web.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
The Washington Post
Semana
AOL
MediaNews Group
MediaBugs
Patch
MinnPost
Publish2
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
McClatchy
Outside.in
The Daily Show