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“I run a couple of newspapers. What do you do?”

Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

* Lansing State Journal

Dozens of websites branded as local news outlets launched throughout Michigan this fall, with monikers like Lansing Sun, Ann Arbor Times, Thumb Reporter and UP Gazette, promising local news but also offering political messaging. […]

[Metric Media CEO Bradley Cameron’s] biography also says he has worked for pharmaceutical manufacturers, technology companies, and is retained by national conservative leaders to respond to “government targeting of their operations and initiatives.”

According to the sites’ privacy policy pages, they are operated by Locality Labs LLC, a Delaware company that similarly affiliated with a network of local sites in Illinois and Maryland, and business sites in nearly every U.S. state.

The publications Locality Labs operates in Illinois, which include both websites and printed papers, provide different descriptions of their editorial direction.

West Cook News, for example, says its “core belief” is in “limited government, in the constructive role of the free market and in the rights of citizens to choose the size and scope of their government and the role it should play in their society.” It is funded in part by advocacy groups who believe the same.

Messages left with Locality Labs’ various Illinois publications were not returned. Locality Labs CEO, Brian Timpone, could not be reached for comment.

* I’ve been calling these publications “Dan Proft papers,” but Timpone runs the show. He’s a former Statehouse reporter and House Republican spokesperson. I’ve reached out to Brian for comment and will post it if/when I get it.

Check out this list of business publications operated by Locality Labs

Again, that’s only the business publications. From the West Cook News page, here’s a list of their community publications in Illinois

They also run several legal news sites, including the Madison-St. Clair Record in the Metro East

Dude’s got some reach. (Headline explained here.)

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:29 am:

    You spread enough snake oil phony, you get yourself a syndicate.

    See: Hearst, William Randolph.

    (Riffing off that sweet reference)


  2. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    Gotta wonder how many Russian bots are in the fold


  3. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    Cook County Record is definitely slanted in what it chooses to cover, but it does have original news on legal cases and verdicts. I haven’t checked any of the other sites though.


  4. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    The way they seem out together doesn’t seem to need any local reporter.


  5. - efudd - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    So, when do they buy the IRN?

    What am I saying, you could rent that outfit for less than a used Focus.


  6. - City Zen - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    Does this mean he won’t be on the Ben Joravsky Show?


  7. - up2now - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    Having been a newspaper guy for 39 years, I can only shake my head these days.


  8. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    Will County board member Steve Balich also runs a handful of sites like this. willcountygazette being just one of them.


  9. - Bertrum Cates - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:35 pm:

    A regular Johnny Newspaperseed.


  10. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 12:40 pm:

    This is a total success by the right and total failure by the left to respond to this now massive network of propaganda sites masquerading as news. Talk about #FakeNews. This is it in all its glory and Ds are getting pantsed.


  11. - Levois J - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    I need to get in on this action. Especially if it’s profitable….


  12. - DougChicago - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 1:20 pm:

    It’s all great as long as you don’t care about things like accuracy or truthfulness.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-xpm-2012-07-22-ct-biz-0722-brian-timpone-20120722-story,amp.html


  13. - Waguespacked - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 1:35 pm:

    Wasn’t One Illinois supposed to be a response to this from moderates and progressives?


  14. - City Zen - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    ==Wasn’t One Illinois supposed to be a response to this from…progressives==

    The check from IEA must have bounced.


  15. - Waguespacked - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 2:17 pm:

    @ City Zen: LOL

    The right is better at this game and I believe Timpone and his crew will create lots of “news” to sink JB’s tax agenda.


  16. - Hydro - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    It’s still a free country, right? The more news the better. If you don’t like it start your own news platform.


  17. - Southern Illinois Mayor - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

    Gatehouse is still the Gatehouse for truth, it will never allow something like this to … Oh God help us


  18. - d. p. gumby - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    What hath Faux News wrought….


  19. - SOIL M - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 3:48 pm:

    This is outrageous. How can he consider himself in the actual news business. The next thing you know he will run a picture of explosions in KY and try to pass them off as bombings in Syria


  20. - Anonish - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 4:46 pm:

    Yes, Timpone is also keeping his Locality Labs LLC in Illinois current. Sadly it appears to be a growth market.


  21. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Oct 22, 19 @ 7:23 pm:

    Lake County has their “Joe Walsh-lite” board member sharing the Lake County Gazette nonsense article about him.


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