It’s official: The Washington Post’s Express has launched its Web site, Readexpress.com. The site was already announced, but it is live for the first time today.
Express is a free daily metro aimed at commuters and younger readers that has a circulation of about 500,000. The new site is meant to be its online footprint and will include blogs, polls and classifieds. The classifieds will be hosted and run by classified aggregator Oodle.
Establishing a new online brand (apart from WashingtonPost.com) will allow the company to get away from some of the cultural issues, or "brand baggage," that might otherwise hold it back from doing some new and interesting things online. (This is less of an issue for The Post than some other papers, as it’s been on the progressive end of the online experimentation scale.) Likewise, this gives the company a test bed for new strategies that can eventually be incorporated into WashingtonPost.com.
There is a deeper analysis of the site, including comments from Oodle’s Craig Donato, in this week’s Local Media Journal.