Main Street Connect Comes to Westchester with Launch of 32 Online News Sites in Communities Throughout the County

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Launch of TheDailyWestchester Builds on Success in Fairfield County and Recent Acquisition of Ten Sites Serving Central Massachusetts

In what is the largest media launch of its kind in the nation, Main Street Connect, a National Community News Company, today went live with 32 community-based 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.

“Today is a milestone for our company and the dawn of a new era for community news in Westchester County. With Main Street Connect, we’re returning to the roots of local news and reviving the concept of the hometown newspaper but in an online digital format,” said Carll Tucker, Editor, Publisher and CEO of Main Street Connect.

Speaking at a gala launch party attended by over 150 of Westchester’s business, political and community leaders, Mr. Tucker said Main Street Connect has assembled a news staff of over 40 people to cover Westchester communities. “We’re hiring like crazy in Westchester. We now have one of the largest news organizations in the county and it’s staffed by some of the top journalists in this market.”

Mr. Tucker described Main Street Connect as “a digital town green” where neighbors can come together to share information and news about their community. 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.    

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.

Main Street Connect recently announced the acquisition of CentralMassNews.com, a network of online community news centers serving Central Massachusetts. The ten websites of CentralMassNews.com will be incorporated into the quickly-growing Main Street Connect network, which includes 10 sites in Connecticut and now 32 in Westchester County. With the launch of Westchester County and the addition of the Central Massachusetts sites, Main Street Connect’s network now totals 52 sites.

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.

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’ve already lined 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.

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Dean Bender
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