Main Street Connect acquires CentralMassNews

CentralMassNews.com, a network of 10 community news sites in suburban Worcester, has been acquired by Main Street Connect, according to an announcement made on Thursday. The company will soon comprise 52 sites in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y.

Jennifer Lord Paluzzi, a GateHouse refugee whose initial project, the Greater Grafton Blog, grew into what is now CentralMassNews, spoke to my students in February 2010. Here’s an account of her talk by Mary Ann Georgantopoulos, who has since graduated from Northeastern.

Paluzzi and publisher Jack Schofield will hold significant positions in Main Street Connect. “And we’re hiring!” says Paluzzi.

Frankly, I’m always sorry to see a grassroots news organization give up some of its independence. But this may give CentralMassNews the critical mass it needs to compete with other corporate players, especially AOL’s Patch.com. Paluzzi and Schofield are both great examples of journalistic entrepreneurship, and I wish them success.

CentralMassNews.com turns 2

Congratulations to CentralMassNews.com, a network of hyperlocal sites in the Worcester area that is celebrating its second anniversary. With a reported 150,000 unique visitors a month, the sites are a locally owned journalism success story, and a tribute to the hard work invested by publisher Jack Schofield and editor Jennifer Lord Paluzzi.