Hubbard Broadcasting announced plans Tuesday (March 9) to launch neighborhood Web sites in the six markets where it owns TV stations, in Minneapolis-St. Paul; Rochester, N.Y.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Albany, N.Y.; Duluth, Minn.; and Rochester, Minn. The sites will be powered by DataSphere Technologies, which provides the technology and sales solutions.
The first sites, which could number as many as 100, will be launched in the next three weeks for KSTP, the company's ABC affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The smaller markets will follow and have about 10-20 neighborhood sites.
"This agreement with DataSphere further demonstrates our commitment to local news in the markets we serve," said Rob Hubbard, president of Hubbard Television Group. "These community Web sites focus on the critical local issues that have great impact on our viewers' daily lives."
Neighborhood Web sites serving hyper-local communities has taken off since last fall when Fisher Communications launched more than 100 neighborhood Web sites with DataSphere, in which Fisher has an investment. About two weeks ago, Raycom Media announced it would launch neighborhood sites in the 35 cities where it owns and operates TV stations with the first sites up by the end of April. In total, DataSphere's LocalNet service powers sites for five media companies and more than 160 community sites.