TheBusinessDesk West Midlands nears launch readership target

Big Kudos for local business news web start-up TheBusinessDesk which warrants a page three story in the Financial Times today.

It notes that the West Midlands version of the site, edited by former Birmingham Post editor Marc Reeves, now has 4,500 registered users – near its 5,000 target.

The West Midlands edition of TheBusinessDesk was launched in February – following the launches of editions in Liverpool and Leeds. TheBusinessDesk now employs ten journalists across the three editions.

Founder David Parkin was a speaker at the Press Gazette and Kingston University Local Heroes conference last month and spoke about how he packed in a steady job as business editor of the Yorkshire Post to launch the project. He revealed that the three sites are set to reach turnover of £1m this year.

Reeves prompted a lot of debate yesterday online with a blog post which was highly critical of the business models of local newspapers – and not surprisingly gung ho about his own project.

He notes the tiny running costs of a site like TheBusinessDesk versus a traditional print news operation.

While TheBusinessDesk is a fantastic success story, and all power to it. It is also worth noting that it employs ten journalists, versus the hundreds who are paid wages by the big publishers who compete with it.



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