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.”
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.
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.