Thursday, August 07, 2008

Somebody is having fun in LA

Are there plans to start a free daily in Los Angeles? After all, it is the last of the three major markets without one. A classified ad on Craigslist (now withdrawn) has been followed by this Web site at

Our first reaction? Guess you've heard of clip art photos!

Here's the text of the site:
    We are going to launch a FREE daily newspaper here in Los Angeles. We will also be developing a companion website. The initial circulation will be between 200,000 and 350,000 daily M-F, no Saturday edition and a 500,000 circulation Sunday edition which will be available nationally.
Hey, that sounds like billionaire oilman Phil Anschutz's plans in San Francisco, Baltimore and Washington. Only problem is that his business model hasn't worked. It failed so miserably that he just slashed his circulation by 40 percent after struggling for three years to make his papers work.
    It will be distributed free of charge throughout the Los Angeles market through alliances with key retailers and vendor box distribution.
LA is the nation's biggest market geographically. Unless you're the LA Times, you won't be able to pull that off.
    Additionally you'll be able to subcribe to it and receive home delivery for about $50 a year.

    We are looking for writers, web developers, photographers, editors (who can write), designers and seasoned sales professionals. If you have experience here in LA we know who you are, if you do not but are looking to break in, fine.

    We've secured office space in the heart of the city.
Guess that means you've got a lease.
    When we launch, our staff will likely number between 75 and 100.

    Right now we are seeking people with ideas who are willing to share them in strict confidence. We have our own ideas, we aren't looking to steal yours but if we are on the same page perhaps a partnership was meant to be. Impress us, you may be considered for what will likely be the most coveted media jobs in the country.
We've sent a couple of e-mails to those purporting to start a free daily in Los Angeles. No answer.

LA Observed says that one of the writers leaving the LA Times responded to the new paper's Craigslist ad and asked "who are you?" She got back this reply:
    "Who are you?"

    "TFD Management team."

    "Right now we are the asking the questions - you are the 1500th respondent ..."
The Web site for this supposed newspaper says management will "reach out to interested parties" before Labor Day.