“WestportNow 2.0”: New Website Debuts

When Gordon Joseloff died in November, Westporters mourned the loss of a former 1st selectman, talented CBS journalist, and founder of WestportNow.com.

When Joseloff’s son and daughter decided not to continue the venture, Westporters mourned something else: the loss of the popular news site.

Several journalists tried to resurrect it. The obstacles were great. Their efforts did not work out.

Doug Weber persevered. He’s now launched Westport Journal. The longtime publishing sales executive and editor Jarret Liotta call their venture “WestportNow 2.o.”

Jarret Liotta

Liotta knows the territory. A 1983 Staples High School graduate returned to Westport after living elsewhere, he’s a fulltime freelance writer, photographer and filmmaker. He’s been a frequent contributor to WestportNow and the Westport News.

“It’s important in a healthy municipal ecosystem to cover everything,” Liotta says.

“The Westport News used to have 4 or 5 full-time reporters, and sports and arts editors covering Westport. There’s more going on here now than there was then. People don’t want to sort through mountains of gobbledygook on Facebook. Hopefully this will help.”

Westport Journal will cover town meetings, as WestportNow did. It includes some of the most popular features of Joseloff’s site, including a daily calendar and property transfers.

Westport Journal went live 2 weeks ago. The slow rollout was intentional, as Liotta got up to speed with staffing and coverage plans. The timing is good, he says, as Westport moves into election season.

Westport Journal screenshot.

Weber — whose sales experience includes the New York Times and The Economist — says, “I love Westport, and I love to know what’s going on. With my media background, I feel it’s incumbent on me to create a trusted, credible, adored and sustainable Westport Journal.”

Like WestportNow, the Journal’s business model is ad-based.

Like WestportNow too, the Journal and “06880” will be friendly rivals. We each tried to get good stories, first. But Gordon Joseloff and I recognized that we took different approaches. When a story idea was not right for one of us, we suggested the other outlet.

“As a resident and longtime subscriber, I’m extremely grateful for ‘06880”s broad coverage,” Liotta says. “‘06880’ has been vitally important for our town, and will continue to be.”

Welcome to Westport, Westport Journal. One thing is for sure: In this town, you won’t run out of stories to cover.

14 responses to ““WestportNow 2.0”: New Website Debuts

  1. Marjorie L Almansi

    Thank you and way to go, Jarret!

  2. Jo Ann Davidson

    Welcome Westport Journal. We need those news items and property transfers. Good luck, and where to send a few bucks support?

  3. Excellent! Look forward to looking at it daily- just as I always do with 06880!

  4. Carol Waxman

    Nicely done, Dan! Friendly competition is a Westport “thing”!
    Best of luck!

  5. Luisa Francoeur

    It looks good! Thanks for bringing this to life. I would have contacted you directly but I did not notice any link on your website with contact information.

  6. Donald Bergmann

    This is wonderful news. I have known Jarret Liotta for years, both through his excellent writing and reporting, and that assures the effort will be of a high quality and benefit all of us. Let us hope and work to promote this undertaking. I am excited for Doug, Jarret and Westport.
    Don Bergmann

  7. Werner Liepolt

    I’m very glad Doug Weber and Jarret Liotta have undertaken this much-needed, highly appreciated project. Like Gordon, they both know and cherish the best of Westport. They’re also courageous and impartial to dig into the issues that need unearthing.

    In a time when local journalism is diminishing and failing to engage citizens on vital issues, we’re fortunate to have them setting the tone for local, classy reportage and frank editorializing.

    I particularly liked their recent no- holds barred, but to-the-point questioning of two of the candidates for First Selectman. It revealed that when a politician tries to waffle, they’re going to be held to a higher standard.

  8. Carol A Palombo

    I’m nearly 70 years old and have read a significant variety of town newspapers; the Westport Journal is, by far, the best I’ve read. Kudos to the team on the rollout; the reporting is diverse, the website is user-friendly with intuitive navigation and the ads do not feel intrusive; what more could a reader want? Readers will reap the benefits of Doug Weber’s perseverance. I, for one, am looking forward to following along as the Westport Journal grows.

  9. This is such GREAT news! The site looks fabulous!! Thank you, Doug (and, of course, also Dan for announcing the launch.)

  10. Dick Lowenstein

    And don’t forget the Westport Local Press News Update published by Jaime Bairaktaris.

    An embarrassment of journalistic riches!

    • Robert Harrington

      Congrats Jarret and Dough. This is GREAT news for Westport. Wishing you every success.

  11. Andrew Colabella

    I was SO excited to hear about Jarret taking on this task of creating an actual news site. A real Westporter and great writer with such talent!

    His journalism is beyond detailed, grammatically perfect and well written. Every article Jarret has written can get the attention of any reader with a headline or first line.

    I miss Gordon Joseloff and WestportNow, especially when he asked me to share my photos with his site for publication.

    I look forward to reading Jarret’s accurate and journalistic stories.

    Between 06880 and The Westport Journal, it’s all you need.

  12. K.F. Spearen

    Huge Congrats on your new adventure Jarret “”

  13. Pegeen Gaherin

    Congratulations Jarrett!

    Pegeen Gaherin
    Staples 72