Raleigh Agenda, the news site founded by local media entrepreneur Ted Williams, announced this afternoon that it’s closing.
“It’s personally and professionally painful and disappointing to be wrong, let teammates down and fail,” Williams told Poynter in an email. “(Editor-in-Chief) Grayson Haver Currin and (Senior Reporter) Jane Porter are very talented, and I loved working with them.”
In his announcement, Currin said the closure was prompted by an inability to “figure out a sustainable business model for this market.” He and Porter were both given severance packages and were allowed to keep their laptops.
Stories about city council and chicken sandwiches don’t really fund themselves. So, yesterday, they shuttered the whole enterprise, canning myself and Jane Porter but at least giving us pretty nice severance packages—and, hey, our laptops! Jane is going to California. I am going to Mexico and, for the time being, to work on my nonprofit.
Raleigh Agenda was an offshoot of Charlotte Agenda, the local news site founded by Williams, who was formerly director of digital strategy initiatives at The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte Agenda will not be affected by the closure of its sister site, Williams said.
In August, Williams told Nieman Lab the (profitable) site would pull in $850,000 in revenue this year.
Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics. He’s also reported for USA TODAY College and The Sacramento Bee, and he was editor in chief of The Orion, Chico State’s student-run newspaper. An Air Force brat who grew up around Northern California, he’s still adjusting to the Florida sunshine.