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The Chronicle was launched in 2008 by the husband-and-wife team of Dave Askins and Mary Morgan and focused primarily on longer-form local government reporting. It was funded primarily through advertising, though the for-profit site also took donations, which it called “subscriptions” and which accounted for 22 percent of its revenue in 2011 and 38% at the time of its closing. It held events for subscribers as well. In 2012, the founders said it brought in $100,000 annually — where its revenue plateaued — and was growing at 16 percent per year. The site closed in 2014 because Askins and Morgan believed they could no longer put in the labor to keep the site running.
ESPN is a cable broadcaster that specializes in sports events, news and analysis. ESPN’s majority owner is the Walt Disney Co., which bought ESPN’s parent network, ABC, in 1995. Hearst Corp. owns a minority stake in the network. ESPN proclaims itself as the “worldwide leader in sports,” and it owns six cable channels, a biweekly…