McClatchy Buys the Famous Sites

The press release:

December 14, 2006 (Fresno, Calif.) - The Fresno Bee has purchased FresnoFamous.com, a local website launched in April 2004 by sole proprietor Jarah Euston. FresnoFamous.com is a website dedicated to cataloging, exploring and discovering life in Fresno. The site is a place people can share opinions, news and information about Fresno.

"We're excited to see FresnoFamous.com continue on with the greater resources of The Fresno Bee. The site was built for and by our community, and that focus and mission will never change," said Euston, the creator and former owner. "We're looking forward to adding new features, new content, and other site improvements in the future."

The website will be managed independently of The Bee, with Valerie Bender, vice president of custom publications, overseeing it.

"Fresno Famous will remain separate from The Fresno Bee newspaper, but will gain the resources of a much larger media company. We owe our success to the community of users on the site, and know this sale will only improve user experience," said Euston.

Since its launch, FresnoFamous.com has grown to a community of nearly 2,000 active users who submit blogs, articles, photos, event listings and comments about the community. Users frequent FresnoFamous.com to make entertainment plans, debate the latest issues at City Hall and submit news others can use. In September 2006, the site generated 25,604 unique visitors, 44,427 total visits and 138,458 page views.

Featured in the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal, FresnoFamous.com is a pioneer in the field of "citizen journalism"? in which news and information are created by citizens, not professional journalists.

After its success in Fresno, a similar website was created for Modesto. That site, too, ModestoFamous.com, has been purchased by The McClatchy Company and will continue operations through The Modesto Bee.

"Purchasing a strong franchise such as FresnoFamous.com gives The Bee another way in which to reach younger readers with information they seek," said Valerie Bender, vice president of custom publications for The Bee. "Our intention is to keep the high standard of blogging and information that has led to the success of FresnoFamous.com and to, over time, continue to grow the content and opportunities for citizen journalism on the site."

The website will not change dramatically. Often known for taking shots at The Fresno Bee, FresnoFamous.com will continue to enjoy its independence from The Bee and will continue to host candid and open conversations on any topic of interest.

"Our hope is that many things that Jarah Euston had planned for the site's growth will come to fruition through the multitude of resources we have. It is also our intention to retain the personality behind FresnoFamous.com and that those in the public who currently participate in the site will continue to do so. We also hope others will join those conversations and make future contributions to FresnoFamous.com as we grow its readership."

Jarah Euston will continue to blog for FresnoFamous.com for the next six months until a complete transition takes place.

The Bee is owned by The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., and is the leading newspaper and Internet publisher in its region. The McClatchy Company is the second-largest newspaper company in the United States, with 32 daily newspapers and approximately 50 non-dailies. McClatchy owned newspapers include the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune, The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, and The (Raleigh) News & Observer. In addition, McClatchy has a robust network of internet assets, including leading local websites in each of its daily newspaper markets, offering users information, comprehensive news, advertising, e-commerce and other services. The company also owns and operates McClatchy Interactive, an interactive operation that provides websites with content, publishing tools and software development; Real Cities (http://www.RealCities.com), the largest national advertising network of local news websites, including more than 130 newspaper websites; and 15.0% of CareerBuilder, the nation's largest online job site. McClatchy also owns 25.6% of Classified Ventures, a newspaper industry partnership that offers classified websites such as cars.com and apartments.com . McClatchy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MNI.

NOTE: reprinted from http://www.fresnofamous.com/node/4519