San Diego Mogul Plans to Create Starbucks of Local News

By Andrew Gauthier 


Tech entrepreneur Neil Senturia is aiming to turn his hyperlocal San Diego News Network into a hypernational news outfit. Senturia says he plans to raise $40 million over the next two years to bring his brand of local news to 40 U.S. and Canadian cities.

At an average of $1 million per site, that would be news on the cheap. Each city edition will belong to Senturia’s U.S. Local News Network, which will manage sites as they power up. So far, Senturia has launched news hubs in San Diego and Riverside, Calif., this year. A third, covering Orange County, will go live in the next 90 days. The community news sites carry breaking news, sports, lifestyle and entertainment stories.

The network won’t grow by licensing or franchising–Senturia plans to retain ownership in all locations. “Our business model is Starbucks, not Pizza Hut,” he says.

Senturia launched SDNN in March, taking on the well-entrenched but struggling San Diego Union-Tribune More…