Hyperlocal News Network Toots Its Own Horn

Traffic - and outside media coverage - is up.

The Daily Voice, a network of 52 websites catering to communities in New York and Connecticut, is making a go of it in a realm that famously tripped up Tim Armstrong.

The network has made it into Inc. editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan’s ongoing series about small businesses. Following some other coverage of the company in New York magazine, it’s cause for celebration. From today’s Armonk Daily Voice item by Sam Barron:

Daily Voice founder and CEO Carll Tucker said word is beginning to spread about Daily Voice’s success.

“Daily Voice has figured out how to do something that lots of people have tried to do – how to publish local news and make money doing it,” Tucker said. “It’s not easy, but we’ve been at it for five years. Last May we broke through and traffic is at an all-time high.”

Tucker said he hopes visitors are impressed that a wonder of journalism got its start in their own backyard.
“We are very grateful to them for coming to visit and our advertisers for advertising,” Tucker said. “They are all collaborating on something that will soon be all over the country.”

Tucker says the company plans to roll out into various other “non-urban communities” in the United States and will make formal announcements about the timing of expansion later this year.

Per Buchanan’s piece, the company started out under a different name (Main Street Connect), with the first site launching in Norwalk, Connecticut in 2010:

One wintry day in 2009, Tucker and his wife, the financial journalist Jane Bryant Quinn, retrieved the local paper from outside their home in Beekman, New York. This would be the final edition, a headline announced. “Suddenly, in this town of 15,000 good people, you had no news,” Tucker says. “You had your town board, zoning board, planning board, births, deaths, schools – and no way for anybody to hear about it.”

Tucker is a local news veteran. In 1983, he acquired a moribund Westchester paper and grew it into a mid-size regional publisher with 15 papers called Trader Publications. He sold that company to Gannett in 1999. Despite Main Street Connect’s humble inspiration, Tucker always imagined it at scale.

[Editor’s Note: A reader pointed out an additional bit of Main Street Connect LLC history that should have indeed been referenced here (as it is in the Inc. piece). In 2013, the company transitioned through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.]