The project will take place over six months with the intention of creating a sustainable digital subscriptions business model. GateHouse is anticipated to spend a sizeable amount of time and resources on the initiative.
GateHouse owns 145 daily news outlets and operates in 580 local markets across 37 states. Its publications reach 22 million people weekly.
GateHouse CEO Kirk Davis stated that the project allows the company to “advance our expertise in applying data, content, technology, and marketing strategies to optimize our digital subscription path.”
Dais continued: “Developing a thriving digital model to showcase the amazing work being done by our journalists across the United States is essential to preserving the vitality and viability of our local journalism.”
The project will focus on The Columbus Dispatch, which boasts the largest digital subscription base among GateHouse’s sites. The strategies and lessons learned during development will be applied to GateHouse’s portfolio of hundreds of websites.
Columbus Dispatch publisher Brad Harmon noted that this project will “empower our teams and newspapers across the nation.”
A few months ago, GateHouse acquired 20 more local newspapers and publications when it closed a $30 million deal with Schurz Communications.
Earlier this week, McClatchy said it would join the Google News Initiative to create three local news projects across the U.S.