Podcast: Denverite editor on digital startups and the future of local news

Photo by Corey Hutchins

About five months ago, a for-profit, hyperlocal online news site called Denverite launched in Colorado’s capital with the feel of a national startup. Backed by a trio of investors in Business Insider, the news outlet is the pilot project for a potential string of sites in other cities.

Denverite does not yet have a business model, but will start experimenting with how to make the site profitable. On Election Day, for instance, the outlet will host a ticketed event at its downtown office. In the meantime, the news organization’s team of about 10 journalists have been cranking out the news about Denver and its metro area of nearly 3 million people.

So what has the journey been like so far? Last month I sat down with site editor Dave Burdick, who left his job as deputy features editor of The Denver Post to run the new startup. We talked about the challenges of launching a hyperlocal, digital-only news product, how he’s building new audiences, and what a potential revenue stream might one day look like. The man has a passion for local news.

You can stream the conversation from the embedded player below or, to listen to the Denverite podcast via CJR’s iTunes library.

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Corey Hutchins is CJR’s correspondent based in Colorado, where he is also a journalist for The Colorado Independent. A former alt-weekly reporter in South Carolina, he was twice named journalist of the year in the weekly division by the SC Press Association. Hutchins recently worked on the State Integrity In vestigation at the Center for Public Integrity and he has contributed to Slate, The Nation, The Washington Post, and others. Follow him on Twitter @coreyhutchins or email him at coreyhutchins@gmail.com.