The San Diego News Network announced ambitious plans to expand its template for local news, sports, events, lifestyle and entertainment, to 40 North American cities in the next 30 months. The company, renamed The U.S. Local News Network, already has sites in San Diego and the southwest portion of adjacent Riverside County. It is set to launch in Orange County before the end of the year. The company has raised close to $2 million.
CEO Neil Senturia, CEO of USLNN, a longtime high-tech entrepreneur, said in a statement that “our business model is the future for how local news will be reported and consumed.” The model involves a mix of local reporting, user-generated content, and syndication to local sites such as TV and radio stations, and local cable.
President Chris Jennewein said the site’s model is very much tied to developing local advertising and that the ties with local media companies are partnerships rather than intended as revenue generators. In San Diego, the site has been heartened by ad sales to many of the area’s largest advertisers, including Sempra Energy, Barona Casino, Ace Hardware, Ultra Star Cinemas, La Jollas Playhouse and Rancho Financial Mortgage Center. The site has also sold ads to local restaurants and retirement homes.
Jennewein adds the site will keep its San Diego headquarters, and is adding to its staff in small increments as it expands to other markets.