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The Chi-Town Daily News was a nonprofit local news site in Chicago that folded in 2009 and reorganized as the for-profit Chicago Current.
The Daily News was launched in 2005 by former Chicago Tribune reporter Geoff Dougherty and had a staff of eight at its peak. The site was funded by a combination of membership fees and grants, receiving $440,000 from the Knight Foundation.
After raising just $600,000 since 2005 on an intended budget of $1 million to $2 million, the site laid off its staff and suspended operation in September 2009, announcing a switch from a nonprofit to a for-profit model. The organization was reborn in November 2009 as the Chicago Current.
The for-profit Current is available online for free but charges for home delivery of its print edition. The Current’s revenue comes from print and online advertising, and it has three full-time staff members. Dougherty hopes to break even on it by late 2010.
In 2007, the Daily News began using a volunteer citizen-journalism model to attempt to cover public-interest stories in each of Chicago’s neighborhoods, as well as city-wide issues. The money for the effort came from the Knight Foundation.
The Awl is a New York-based blog that covers media, culture, and politics. The site was founded in April 2009 by ex-Gawker writers Choire Sicha and Alex Balk and former Radar employee David Cho. The site has an irreverent tone similar to Gawker’s, though at its launch, it was intended as an alternative to Gawker’s…