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The Daily Voice, formerly known as Main Street Connect, is a network of hyperlocal news sites that operates on a franchise model.
The company, founded by former community newspaper publisher Carll Tucker, was launched in early 2010 with The Daily Norwalk, a site covering Norwalk, Conn. It quickly expanded to several other sites in the New York area, with plans to grow to 3,000 sites by 2013. However, by 2013, it had just 41 sites in New York and Connecticut, having shut down 11 sites in Massachusetts. It had a staff as large as about 25 employees, including 11 in editorial, but made substantial layoffs, including nearly all of its corporate staff, in 2013.
The network’s sites are run by local “affiliates” who are responsible for reporting the site’s news and selling its advertising, and who receive about 80 percent of the sites’ revenue. The company provides the technical infrastructure and sales, billing and accounting support.
The company raised about $4 million in investment in 2010 and planned to bring in revenue through local advertisers, including social media advertising. Its “annual visibility packages” offer advertisers access to reporters and guaranteed coverage in the features section of the site.
The Houston Chronicle is a daily newspaper owned by Hearst Corp. It is the second-largest newspaper in Texas and 14th-largest in the U.S., with 325,000 in combined print and online daily circulation as of 2012. The Chronicle’s online operation has been praised for its innovation. A 2006 study conducted by NYU professor Jay Rosen named…