(PRWEB) May 12, 2011
In what will be the largest media launch of its kind in the nation, Main Street Connect, the nation’s leading community news company, is coming to Westchester County next month with the debut of 32 community-based online news sites throughout the county.
On June 1, Main Street Connect will go live with online news sites covering Westchester County from the Sound Shore communities of New Rochelle and Rye to the Hudson River towns of Dobbs Ferry and Tarrytown to the northern hills of Bedford and North Salem. For a complete list of Main Street Connect’s new Westchester websites, visit http://www.TheDailyWestchester.net
Each user friendly news site will feature the latest news on local government, schools, sports, community events as well as local commentary and features on community residents. There are also sections on real estate, wellness, food, home & garden, autos and fashion. The editorial staff maintains active conversations with readers across Facebook and Twitter. The reporters and editors who staff the Main Street Connect news sites have deep roots in the communities they cover. Many are journalists who have worked at weeklies and dailies in the Westchester-Fairfield area.
“We’re hiring like crazy in Westchester. We already have over 30 people on our Westchester staff which makes us one of the largest news organizations in the county. There’s tremendous excitement building throughout Westchester about Main Street Connect and our concept of an online community-based news sites. We’ve hired some of the top journalists in this market,” said Carll Tucker, Editor, Publisher and CEO of Main Street Connect.
The Westchester launch builds on the phenomenal success of Main Street Connect in neighboring Fairfield County, Connecticut where in little over a year it has emerged as a dominant force in community news and information.
Main Street Connect was founded in December 2009 by Mr. Tucker, the former Editor and Publisher of Trader Publications, a community news company in Cross River, NY. Main Street Connect launched its first site, TheDailyNorwalk.com, in March 2010. Today, Main Street Connect has ten sites in Fairfield County serving Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton. In February 2011, Main Street Connect passed 1 million visits just ten months after launching its first site. Its Fairfield County operation has a staff of more than 50 in reporting, editing, marketing, sales and management jobs.
Joining Mr. Tucker on the Main Street Connect management team is an impressive lineup that includes: President and Chief Operating Officer John Falcone, Managing Editor Carl Lavin and Editorial Director Jane Bryant Quinn. Mr. Falcone was Senior Vice President Mobile Network at SmartReply, where he led the team that transformed SmartReply into the largest SMS mobile network advertising network in the nation. Mr. Lavin is an experienced newsroom executive who spent two decades at The New York Times directing news coverage on various topics. Additionally, he served as a top editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer and at Forbes.com. Jane Bryant Quinn is one of the nation’s leading personal finance commentators as well as syndicated columnist and personal finance author. She has served as a financial correspondent for CBS News and columnist for Newsweek, The Washington Post and Bloomberg.com.
Mr. Tucker described Main Street Connect as “a digital town green” where neighbors can come together to share information and news about their community. “Our advertising tagline is ‘Come Home.’ We’re returning to the roots of local news and reviving the concept of the hometown newspaper but in an online digital format,” he said.
While not shying away from coverage of controversial and contentious issues in the local community, Main Street Connect also focuses on the positive news that makes a community a great place to live, raise a family and do business.
Main Street Connect engages its readers by creating a place where they can discuss subjects and issues of interest to them as well as submit news, tips, stories and commentary. In order to keep plugged into what’s happening in the community, Main Street Connect establishes Local Advisory Boards of local citizens from the community. The boards meet regularly with the editorial staff to suggest stories and provide feedback on the site.
The business model for Main Street Connect goes beyond traditional banner advertising. Instead, advertisers are offered Annual Visibility Packages or AVPs, which include a number of unique features in addition to banner display advertising. Among the features of the AVP is “Local Hero” which is a section on the site that honors a local resident nominated by the advertiser. Also as part of the AVP, an advertiser can suggest
an editorial profile about a neighbor involved in their business.
“Our AVP program is doing very well in Fairfield County and we’re already lining up many well-known local and regional advertisers in Westchester. Local businesses understand that advertising is rapidly moving away from print to online. The unique advertising package we offer at Main Street Connect is generating a great deal of interest with businesses both large and small,” said Mr. Tucker.
Main Street Connect also supports the local community with online contests that offer prizes to local organizations ranging from $500 to $10,000. Readers participate by voting online for their favorite organization.