Huffington Post Goes Local, Takes On Newspapers

The Huffington Post, the uber-blog that has taken on the top Web sites and news organizations, is going local. Arianna Huffington’s announcement that her company will be opening “dozens” of local sites across the country marks a potentially new front in the transformation of the news industry. Is this the beginning of a new type of national news chain, like Gannett or McClatchy, but completely online?

While details are scant at this point, Huffington said that the first local blog will be in Chicago. It will start off being run by one editor, but presumably will expand its staff from there.

The move into local news means more competition for local newspapers. Up until now, Huffington Post has not competed directly with local newspapers, instead focusing on national news, in particular political news. But with local news, Huffington Post could provide another source of competition for local newspapers. Most local blogs competing with local papers have been one-man-bands or other smaller scale operations–that have still broken news and drawn large traffic numbers. But Huffington Post, backed by significant resources and carrying a brand name, will present a new challenge.

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