hibu has shuttered its regional hyperlocal magazines in Delaware and other areas.
The British-based Yellow Pages publisher launched the publications as a way to combat the continuing decline of the paper directory business.
Along the way, the company picked up veterans of Patch, the online hyperlocal news website venture of America Online. Patch is now under new ownership. No Patch publications were launched in Delaware.
The number of magazines grew to several hundred in a couple of dozen states with journalism blogger Jim Romanesko estimating that the number of journalists publishing the magazines totaling about 200. The shutdown also affected hibu magazines in other countries.
The company operated local four-color magazines targeting upscale areas in northern and southern Delaware and had two editors who managed a number of magazines in both northern and southern Delaware. On Thursday, the company was still advertising online for a salesperson in Delaware.
Such publications are commonplace in many markets, even in the digital era. hibu and independent operators keep costs down by having staff operate out of their homes, using commission-only sales staff and giving editors as many as 10 magazines in a region. Moreover, hibu also did not launch websites for the magazines
Competitors included Chester County, Pa-based Ad Pro, which publishes several magazines twice yearly for Newark, Middletown, Hockessin-Greenville and in Chester County communities.
The hibu full-color magazines were free and mailed to 5,000 of the highest income homes in each community, Romanesko reported.
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