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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Local Xpress spins-off into HalifaxToday

Ontario's Village Media is launching its own community news outlet in Halifax after partnering with former Chronicle Herald strike site.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 1:23 AM

Dartmouth, as ever, is going to be pissed. - VIA TWITTER
  • VIA TWITTER
  • Dartmouth, as ever, is going to be pissed.

The Chronicle Herald’s newsroom strike may have laid the groundwork for the paper’s newest competitor.

Ontario’s Village Media is looking to hire an online community editor for its new HalifaxToday website.

“HalifaxToday.com is coming soon and Village Media is looking for a full-time community editor to help launch our latest online-only news site,” reads an ad on Jeff Gaulin's Job Board.

The advertisement lists a dot com, but it’s HalifaxToday.ca that’s registered to Village Media CEO Jeff Elgie.

Based in Sault Ste. Marie—where the company operates its flagship SooToday site—Village Media also owns community news outlets in four other Ontario communities, and is looking to expand.

“What we're just doing is what a community newspaper did 20 years ago,” Elgie recently told the Canadian Press. “It's not that brilliant, really, we're just focusing on local.”

The company also licenses its software to “partner” with outlets in Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Manitoulin Island and with the former Local Xpress in Halifax.

Started by striking members of the Halifax Typographical Union as an outlet for their work, Local Xpress picked up several Atlantic Journalism Awards nominations—and two wins for photojournalism—during its brief, but commendable lifespan. The site was shuttered back in August with the end of the Herald strike.

But the market for a Halifax news website seems to have been viable enough to whet Village Media’s appetite for an eastern expansion.

No word on when HalifaxToday will launch. Both Elgie and Village Media director of finance Jake Cormier declined to comment at press time.

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