HOME
          
LATEST STORY
A mixed bag on apps: What The New York Times learned with NYT Opinion and NYT Now
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Here’s what I do know: The Sun’s previous holding company, One SL LLC — the SL stands for Seth Lipsky — is no longer active.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.
A 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.
The newsonomics of new cutbacks at The New York Times
The Times found success with its first round of paywalls, disappointment with its second. Is it hitting a paid-content ceiling?
With limited time to revamp WNYC’s Schoolbook, John Keefe decided to take his team on the road
The new Schoolbook will have targeted emails, major content partnerships, three languages, and more — and building it took just seven days.
What to read next
751
tweets
Wearables could make the “glance” a new subatomic unit of news
“The audience wants to go faster. This can’t be solved with responsive design; it demands an original approach, certainly at the start.”
677Designer or journalist: Who shapes the news you read in your favorite apps?
A new study looks at how engineers and designers from companies like Storify, Zite, and Google News see their work as similar — and different — from traditional journalism.
596Ken Doctor: Guardian Space & Guardian Membership, playing the physical/digital continuum
The Guardian is making its biggest bet on memberships and events by renovating a 30,000 square foot space to host live activities in the heart of London.
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 ➚
La Nación
The Awl
Reddit
Hacks/Hackers
Spot.Us
West Seattle Blog
WikiLeaks
Tribune Publishing
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Medium
MinnPost
MSNBC