Smythe reports, “Still, the Charlotte Ledger is growing — adding 50-80 net subscribers per month — while the Observer is shrinking. The Observer’s total daily circulation has cratered from 155,497 in 2011 to a current 73,614, including 19,602 digital-only subscribers, according to a recent audit.
“Promising ‘no fluff, no pop-up ads, no time-wasting,’ the Substack offers three separate newsletters: One focusing on local business news, one on obituaries and one on transit. The Ledger has come a long way from its founding in 2019. At the time, when former Observer business editor Tony Mecia started it, he had only a rolodex of local newsmakers and 300 Twitter followers. (Now he has only 793, proving you don’t have to be a Twitter rockstar to be a successful content creator.)
“Mecia employs former Observer reporter Cristina Bolling as a full-time staff member and some freelancers, with a compensation structure that is aligned with the Ledger’s financial performance, according to Axios. The Arlington, Virginia-based media company Axios, founded by a group of former Politico reporters, is also making a play for local news markets — despite past failed attempts by other startups.”
Read more here.