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Alaska Dispatch a for-profit online newsmagazine that covers state and local issues in Alaska. It also owns the Anchorage Daily News.
The site was founded by Tony Hopfinger and Amanda Coyne in 2008. Alice Rogoff, former CFO of U.S. News & World Report, became its majority owner in 2009. The site has an editorial staff of about 12, along with a sales staff of three.
Alaska Dispatch announced it would buy the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s largest newspaper, from McClatchy in April 2014 for $34 million. Most of that price was for the paper’s office building, which Rogoff said she planned to sell soon after the deal was closed. Rogoff became the Daily News’ publisher, and Hopfinger took over as editor of the newly merged newsroom. Most of the top newsroom spots were filled by Dispatch journalists, while many of the business-side positions remained with the Daily News.
The site publishes numerous articles from contributors, giving some of them handheld cameras to record videos. It also runs a citizen-driven site called Tundra Telegraph. Rogoff had said the goal was for the Dispatch to be profitable by 2011, driven largely by an aggressive advertising strategy, but the Dispatch operated at a loss through 2014.
OpenFile was a user-driven local news site based in Toronto, with affiliates in five other Canadian cities, Montréal, Calgary, Ottawa, and Vancouver, and Halifax. OpenFile was founded by Canadian journalist Wilf Dinnick in May 2010. The site relied on users to direct its news coverage, inviting them to start a “file” (the site’s founders chose the term to…