The goal was never really to make money, but Fairfax News editor and publisher James Hood said the costs have just been too much to keep the local news site running. In one month, the website that’s been covering local news since 1998 will shut down for good.
“It’s a difficult market,” Hood said. “Between the city and the parts of the county, Fairfax is very amorphous. We’ve never been hyper-local, we wanted to do the kind of regional coverage the Washington Post does, but with Virginia on top rather than the District.”
Hood launched several successful online ventures including Consumer Affairs, but Fairfax News was never sustainable enough to pay for a team of reporters to run it on its own.
“I was never really able to give Fairfax News the attention it needed,” said Hood. “And revenue was increasingly difficult. Years ago, I could put up a couple Google ads up and the site could have earned a few dollars and I could put a few cents in my pocket, but not anymore.”
Hood said he put more of his focus on making the site technically smooth and functional, but looking back he said he wished he’d changed some of the priorities.
“I didn’t spend as much as I should have on the editorial side,” said Hood.
The end had been coming for a while. The stream of news stories dwindled over time and a few months ago, managing editor Ed Tobias departed from the site.
“I enjoyed working on the site,” said Hood, “but I’m in my 70s and I don’t want to have to do this every day. I couldn’t find anyone to sell it to and I didn’t want it to just wither away.”
Though the closure is much smaller on scale, Hood’s shuttering of Fairfax News is part of a nationwide spate of closures and layoffs at online news outlets.
“It’s hard right now,” said Hood. “Twenty years ago, if you were enterprising, you could make a living as a reporter covering Vienna. But those times are at abeyance. Will they come back? Who knows.”
Photo via Facebook
A solar panel array has been proposed on the future HITT Contracting headquarters building at Virginia Tech’s Idylwood campus (via Fairfax County) A massive array of solar panels could provide…
The Fairfax County Government Center building (staff photo by David Taube) Local officials are already preparing for “one of the most challenging” budget talks in years due to inflation, the…
Jason’s Deli will close its Idylwood Plaza location in December (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Jason’s Deli will close up shop for good next month after more than a decade…
Wolftrap Creek in fall (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Route 7 Lane Shift in Reston Starts Today — “On or about Tuesday, Nov. 29, the right-turn lane from eastbound Route…
Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.
He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.
The Rhea Baker State Farm Agency is proud to support Shelter House in providing safe places to be during quarantine. Shelter House’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness and domestic violence. Right now they are providing over 200 hotel rooms to those in need in our community. In the past year, across all programs, Shelter House served nearly 500 households comprised of over 1,500 individuals, 60% of which were children.
Of the households that exited shelter, over 70% moved to permanent housing. The Baker Agency has served Vienna and Tysons residents and business owners since 2007 and proudly offers insurance solutions for you home, condo, auto insurance, life insurance and more. We offer complimentary reviews and coach teen drivers to safer, better drivers, and to help keep your auto insurance rates down! We are always happy to talk or text at 703-847-6880.