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Driven by the vision of newspaper innovators Rob Curley and Chris Jennewein, Greenspun Media, the publisher of The Las Vegas Sun, has spent heavily to develop a next generation local media division focused on online video, databases and other services. Indeed, it has sketched a path for other local media companies in the space. Its presentations have been a highlight at the past two Kelsey/BIA conferences (“Marketplaces” and “Winning Media Strategies”).

But now Publisher Chris Jennewein has departed, and the company’s ambitious agenda has been considerably pared. Jennewein told us that Greenspun had based its plans for the division’s rapid development on an assumption that Las Vegas would remain one of the fastest-growing markets in the U.S. The collapse of the local economy has hit those plans especially hard. Greenspun has also been affected by its heavy investments in local real estate.

Rob Curley and others remain at the company. Jennewein says he will be consulting for a variety of companies, including The San Diego News Network, which is seeking to build an alternative news model to newspapers via a hyperlocal site that is syndicated to local media sources, such as cable TV.

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