Dave Rice 12:35 p.m., May 23
SDNN Closes Orange County Operation
The Orange County News Network, which was to be a launching pad for a 40-city expansion of the San Diego News Network online journalism model, has closed down after only four months, according to the Orange County Business Journal. Chris Jennewein, president of San Diego's U.S. Local News Network, parent of San Diego News Network, told his staff Monday of the shutdown.
In late September of last year, Neil Senturia, chief executive of U.S. Local News Network, said that the San Diego online publication had been very successful, and Riverside and Orange counties would be the first expansions. The goal was 40 cities in the U.S. and Canada. In February, the company said that it had raised $3.18 million from investors to finance its expansion into other markets. It is not clear whether the Orange County failure will crimp the ambitious plans, at which some professionals cocked an eyebrow. I called Senturia and he did not get back to me within a reasonable period of time.
In other media news, rumors are sweeping the Union-Tribune that 20 more layoffs on the editorial staff will come this week. Editor Jeff Light has already warned that a further staff trimming is coming. He told the Press Club about a week ago that the trajectory of the newspaper business continues to be down. One rumor is that the U-T's copy desk will take heavier cuts, but that is not confirmed.