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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.
The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News are Michigan’s largest newspapers. Under a 1987 joint operating agreement, the Detroit Media Partnership publishes, distributes, and sells advertising for both papers. The papers are owned separately and employ independent news staffs and websites. The two papers were not making money as of late 2009, though executives were…