(cross-posted from my media blog)
CNet has reported that Topix, the local-media network controlled by some of the major U.S. newspaper chains, has raised another $15-million in financing. According to the story, Gannett and Tribune each own 33.7 per cent, and McClatchy (which was bought by Knight Ridder last year) owns 11.9 per cent. Together, the newspaper companies own about 80 per cent of the company.
Topix says that it will use the money to add more staff and put some more cash into marketing, something that it definitely needs to do. Although it has climbed in the rankings, it really needs to get its name more known as the source for local news — and promote some of its unique tools, such as the ability to comment on stories, links to blogs that are mixed in with the news feeds and a great search engine.
Unfortunately, the site is going up against Google News and Yahoo News on the one hand and sites like Digg on the other, and even its new funding might not be enough to turn the tide. As PaidContent points out, the site hasn’t exactly been able to integrate its tools and content with its newspaper owners so far, at least not in any meaningful way, and time is quickly running out.