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Gannett Launching Hyperlocal Sites

Gannett Broadcasting and digital outfit DataSphere Technologies are partnering to launch community-focused websites in 10 markets where Gannett owns a station. The cities are Atlanta, Washington, Tampa, Sacramento, Grand Rapids, Jacksonville, Buffalo, Little Rock, Portland, Me. and Macon, Ga.

The community sites will be integrated within the existing Gannett websites in those markets, says Gannett, and will feature hyperlocal news content and user-generated content about area happenings.

In addition to powering the community sites, DataSphere will provide the existing Gannett sites with enhanced functionality, including market-leading site search, coupons, business directory and ad targeting.

"Providing neighborhood news and information is a vital part of our responsibility as local media companies," said Gannett Broadcasting President Dave Lougee. "By partnering with DataSphere, we will be able to extend the services we offer to our viewers and advertisers, making use of our online presence to provide an easy way for them to keep up with local events and connect with each other."

Gannett did not offer a time frame as to when the sites will debut.

DataSphere is a growing player in the station web world, working with Fisher Communications, among others, to launch community sites in its TV markets. The sites appeal to advertisers who typically don't spend on television.

"We're thrilled to be working with them to help define an increasing role for some of the best known local media brands," said DataSphere CEO Satbir Khanuja, "delivering targeted and compelling news to residents of each neighborhood and connecting residents with the local businesses who can best serve their needs."

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.