Eric Richardson, the founder of Blogdowntown in 2005, has tried some different ownership models to keep his site sustainable. The content has always been there. Financially, he's been ad driven, tried non-profit status with grant funding, and last year briefly tried a print publication. As of Monday, Blogdowntown will be under the banner of KPCC, the NPR station in Pasadena. Richardson:
I started working for the station in May, and we have been working on how such a move might work ever since.
In a day where most journalism talk is about layoffs and budget cuts, KPCC has been making a push to expand its role in the greater civic conversation. The organization's mission of engaging its audience in an ongoing dialogue and exploration of issues, events and cultures is a perfect fit with what I have envisioned for blogdowntown. As our neighborhood grows and evolves, the need for informed conversation only grows with it.
Eric says Blogdowntown will remain a standalone site, gradually taking on more content and promotion from KPCC. It's a great move for his blog, probably, and could be an interesting expansion for KPCC. Now the thing is to see how the station makes use of its new asset — and whether KPCC expands across Los Angeles into less reported-on districts. Of course, that class comprises just about every other district in L.A.
Largely because of Eric at Blogdowntown, plus the Downtown News, the profusion of bloggers who live there and the current version of the Times being in thrall with Downtown, the relatively small colony of residents there can find more news of their neighborhood than people in any area of the city. It's not based on size or importance. If the 50,000 figure is accurate, Downtown is comparable with Encino or Winnetka or Highland Park, but smaller than San Pedro, Reseda or Sherman Oaks. Downtown's residential base is bigger now than Silver Lake or Los Feliz, which are among the city's least populated places.