At the moment, CNC’s Web presence is through Town Online, part of Purcell’s Herald Interactive. But GateHouse wants to switch to Wicked Local, a promising blend of traditional newspaper content and reader contributions rolled out in Plymouth by the parent company of the Patriot Ledger of Quincy, which GateHouse acquired at the same time that it bought CNC. (The Ledger and its progeny, the Enterprise of Brockton and a string of weeklies, were folded into CNC at the time of the sale.)
It’s been pretty obvious for some time that CNC major domo Kirk Davis, brought in from the Ledger papers, has regarded Wicked Local as the future. Plug in the name of any Eastern Massachusetts town, like hamilton.wickedlocal.com, sharon.wickedlocal.com or framingham.wickedlocal.com, and you’ll be taken straight to the Plymouth site. The names have been reserved, and it’s just a matter of setting them up with their own content.
CNC and the Herald still share stories. But that will continue only for as long as Davis thinks it’s in CNC’s best interest.
Updates: (1) MTS is no fun, but he’s right; (2) the Globe’s Robert Gavin quotes me in a “what it means” piece; (3) a bit of clarification: the expiration of GateHouse’s agreement with Town Online was agreed to at the time of the sale earlier this year. This may be a blow to Purcell, but it’s a blow he knew was coming for months.