A network of hyperlocal news sites that began in New Jersey is expanding to Pennsylvania.
On Monday, March 24, The Alternative Press announced that it had launched a site in Lower Providence, PA with a franchise by former Patch Regional Editor and Lower Providence resident, Melissa Treacy.
The same day, Tony Di Domizio, also formerly of Patch, announced the launch of a site for North Penn, PA (next to Lower Providence). The site had a “soft launch” on Friday, March 21.
TheAlternativePress.com was founded by New Providence, New Jersey residents Michael and Lauryn Shapiro in 2008, and claims more than 1,800,000 readers. The Alternative Press — or TAP — has more than 25 sites in New Jersey currently, mostly in Essex and Union counties, but also in Middlesex (East Brunswick), Morris (Randolph), Sussex (Sparta) and Somerset (Green Brook).
TAP has been slowly expanding over the years, a process that seems to have been sped up by the recent layoffs at Patch.
TAP founder and Chief Executive Officer Michael Shapiro is confident that TAP will avoid the problems of Patch, which some felt scaled too quickly before working out a solid business plan.
“By creating a network of independently owned and operated franchises owned by residents invested in their community, our sites are able to take advantage of the benefits of scale on both the content side and the advertising side while staying truly local,” Shapiro told NJ News Commons. “In addition, our flexible approach also allows our franchisees to customize their sites and content to best meet the needs of the residents of their town.”
Read more about TAP’s expansion here.