Ypsilanti Citizen News Sidetrack

City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

Staff discuss Ann Arbor.com model

Ypsilanti Farmers Market

Day after historic announcement, future takes shape

By Dan DuChene
Mar. 25, 2009    ·    2:47 a.m.

Those in charge of running Ann Arbor.com come July said they have trouble explaining what the community can expect because the concept is so new.

The Internet-based company will emerge after the Ann Arbor News shuts down after 174 years of publication this summer. The announcement came Monday morning after a staff meeting with the paper’s 272 employees.

“We’re starting something new from the ground up,” said Tony Dearing, chief content editor for Ann Arbor.com.

Advance Publications, the New York-based company that owns the Booth chain of Michigan newspapers—including the Ann Arbor News, decided to close the daily newspaper and launch the new Ann Arbor.com LLC. Though the company will have a predominately Web-based presence, it will still put out two printed editions every week.

A former managing editor for the Ann Arbor News, Dearing came from another Booth publication, the Flint Journal, to help run Ann Arbor.com. He was the Journal’s editor.

“There is a lot going on in our industry right now,” Dearing said when asked why the Ann Arbor News was closed instead of downsized. “There isn’t one answer.”

He cited being able to establish a different set of expectations as a reason for the move. He said it was a “conscious decision.

“What if you started a new company, a very different company?” Dearing said. “We’re going to start all over again and start from scratch.”

Current Ann Arbor News Publisher and future Ann Arbor.com Executive Vice President Laurel Champion said the site will be “so completely different,” from MLive.com, which currently hosts Booth papers on the Internet.

“I can’t point to anything that exists right now,” Dearing said of the new Ann Arbor.com format.

Dearing said Ann Arbor.com will serve more as an online community than as a newspaper Web site. He said the site will include more “citizen journalism” and might have stories focusing on adult recreational sports or in-depth discussions about potholes.

“Micro-neighborhood stuff,” Dearing said. “Whatever it is that people really care about.”

Champion said declining ad revenue and circulation lead to the move, as well as other cuts announced throughout the Booth chain.

She said the Ann Arbor News’ business model was “ineffective,” and the “uniqueness of the Ann Arbor market” lead to this area being chosen to launch the site.

Dearing said Ann Arbor.com will serve predominately the Ann Arbor area, but could expand to surrounding area like the News. He said he did not want to give a false perception to readers before he knows what the company will deliver.

As of the end of 2008, the News employed about 66 people in its news room. Dearling said Ann Arbor.com isn’t ready to announce how many writers it will employ, though he said the number would be lower. He said job openings will be posted on the company’s Website during the second week of April.

Although he said readers can expect the same type of news, Dearing said those reporters hired will employ more modern tactics. He said digital journalists recruited will use tools like video editing, Twitter and stories edited with search engine optimization techniques to deliver information.

As far as the twice-a-week printed edition, Dearing and Champion said readers can expect a publication very similar to any newspaper someone might expect. An entertainment-oriented edition will run Thursdays and a Sunday edition will be heavily distributed in the area.

Dearing said the advertising to editorial ratio will be standard compared to other printed papers.

Related story:
Ypsilantians respond to Ann Arbor News' closure

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