Media future

New 'content exchange' for freelancers and publishers

bill-momary.jpgEbyline, which launches tomorrow after several months in stealth phase, hopes to connect experienced freelance journalists with publications that want their stories. There are no fees to join, but the service takes an 8% cut, does all the paperwork and says it will limit membership to freelancers with "a track record in the business." Variety is planning to use the service to syndicate its reviews and other content, and there are also ties to ProPublica and The Journalism Shop, the exchange started last year by ex-Los Angeles Times staffers. The co-founders both have Times entries on their resumes: CEO Bill Momary (pictured) was an LAT advertising manager and COO Allen Narcisse, recently VP of strategic planning and business development at Paramount Pictures, was involved in online strategy for and director of operations for Hoy. Advisers include former Times publisher Jeff Johnson and ex-managing editor Leo Wolinsky, now at Variety. Funding comes from unidentified "Los Angeles-based angel investors," says the flackage, which continues after the jump. Here's also a story at TechCrunch.

The marketplace and underlying technology enable those who produce original news content and those who publish it to do business with each other, buying and selling news on an á la carte basis using a secure online platform that manages many administrative tasks – freeing up time and budgets, permitting both sides to dedicate more resources to quality journalism. For freelancers, Ebyline’s online platform lets writers “self-syndicate,” giving them the ability to pitch, sell finished work to news organizations and negotiate fees with publishers. Ebyline is for professional journalists only – freelancers must have a track record in the business in order to gain access.

For publishers, the platform introduces new incremental revenue opportunities and significant cost savings, enabling news publishers to assign and to buy stories á la carte from freelance writers, and to buy and sell their news content directly with publishers....

At launch, some of Ebyline’s journalist members include credentialed freelancers from The Journalism Shop, a co-op of newspaper veterans seeking freelance assignments, and The Sports Media Exchange. The Journalism Shop was founded by former Los Angeles Times staffers, and the organization is expanding to include experienced journalists from around the country. The Sports Media Exchange matches sports publications and organizations with sportswriters to cover events around the U.S. and worldwide....

Members of Ebyline’s advisory board include Jeff Johnson, former publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times; Leo Wolinsky, editor of Daily Variety and former managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, where he directed two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams; Bob Bellack, founder of Classified Ventures and former president of Los Angeles Times Digital; Robert Wallace, president of Wallace Media, former VP of Original Entertainment for ESPN, executive editor of Rolling Stone magazine, and Emmy-winning producer at ABC News; and Lance Sanders, founder of and former NASA engineer.

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