I recommended doing things like this back in 2005. Did anybody listen? Well, Comcast, obviously, but did anybody around here? (By the way, if you're not a fan of the The700Level,com by now, you should be.)
Yes, this is part of a trend:
In a possible sign of shifting industry dynamics, the New York Times launched regional supplements to its San Francisco and Chicago editions, drawing on the work of well-financed donor-sponsored startups. Similarly, ESPN launched regional sites in Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles, challenging papers there for dominance in sports reporting. The Wall Street Journal is rolling out regional supplements as well and increasing its local coverage of New York City.
But if this is, as it appears, a case of well-off national media lions (and some new media challengers) feasting on sickly antelopes, watch for many metros to fight back in 2010. Already, for example, the Seattle Times has responded to the rich collection of neighborhood Web sites in that city by partnering with and aggregating 19 of them.
No reason why that couldn't happen here. Is there?
Yes, this is an open thread, so please ignore what I just wrote and scream "socialism!" and "it was all Bush's fault!" at each other for the rest of the day.