National Public Radio is going to try anew to rev up hyperlocal on the Web sites of its affiliates, according to a paidContent.org interview with incoming CEO Vivian Schiller, who was recruited from a leadership position at NYTimes.com. Schiller is a resident of Washington, D.C., where NPR is located.
The proposed hyperlocal effort harkens back to the mid-1990s when there was a widespread (and short-lived) land grab to be the anchor for communities between newspapers, Yellow Pages, portals, city guides, TV networks, TV stations, local governments, cable access channels, cable MSOs, PBS and radio stations. Those efforts generally fell by the wayside, and hyperlocal has mostly been the province of local bloggers, blogger networks and directory-like start-ups.
“So many companies have started and folded trying to win in local hubs,” noted Schiller in the paidContent interview. “Big news organizations spend hours wondering how do I create the hyperlocal presence, you don’t have the infrastructure. NPR can do it. It already has the trust and the infrastructure in every town and campus in America. I want to find a way to create indispensable local media hubs.”