In a deal that closed today and was just announced on its web-site, the online City Hall/Travis County politics publication In Fact Daily was sold today by Cox Communications to the nonprofit Capitol of Texas Media Foundation, founded by IFD reporter (now publisher) Mike Kanin.
We'll have more in due course on IFD's new business model -- it's been subscription only at www.infactdaily.com, and will remain so at least for the present – and its plans; in the meantime, here's the statement posted on the pub's web site:
"The non-profit Capital of Texas Media Foundation, founded by In Fact Daily reporter Mike Kanin, this morning completed the purchase of the publication from Cox Communications, the parent company of the Austin American-Statesman. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
"Cox Communications purchased the publication from editor Jo Clifton in 2010. In a release issued today, Cox said, “This investment had immense value and opportunity for the Statesman as it dipped its toes in the realm of paid digital content.”
"However, the company statement added, “For the Statesman, it makes more sense now to capitalize on what the organization learned through this investment and refocus on our core assets that provide the most value for subscribers and advertising clients.”
"Kanin told In Fact Daily that he expects the Foundation’s board to guide IFD along a path now well-broken-in by the likes of the Texas Tribune. "We feel we can continue to impact the conversation while we reach out to more folks who would not, in the past, have had access to what we do,” he said. “Don't get me wrong: IFD will keep its focus on City Hall and Travis County issues, offer in-depth coverage of the development of our city, and still go to all of the meetings that you don't have time to attend in person. It's just that we'll be reaching further into our community for our readership."
"He did not offer any more details about the Foundation’s plans for In Fact Daily, other than to underscore the notion that IFD readership should continue to “expect the best in nose-to-the-ground local coverage.” However, he was careful to add that Jo Clifton would continue in her current role.
“We wouldn’t do this without Jo,” he said.
"Clifton said she was pleased to continue her role with the publication. “This has been an exciting adventure,” she said, “and I'm sure it will continue to be one.”
"In Fact started as a weekly in 1995. Founding editor Ken Martin took the publication to five days a week in 1999 and sold it to Clifton in 2000. She owned the publication until its sale to Cox in 2010.
"The Capital of Texas Media Foundation is a newly formed Texas nonprofit. It assumes control over In Fact Daily operations immediately.
"Though the Foundation does not yet have official 501(c)3 status from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, it has secured a fiscal sponsor in the parent nonprofit for the New Haven Connecticut-based Alt-Weekly The New Haven Independent. The nonprofit that runs the Independent is called the Online Journalism Project.
"The fiscal sponsorship allows the Capital of Texas Media Foundation to function with some privileges afforded to federally recognized exempt organizations, including tax deductions for Foundation donors.
"Foundation board members include civic activist and self-described wonk Julio Gonzalez Altamirano; Marty Hopkins, senior litigation associate at Andrews Kurth; LBJ grad and Texas Senate policy aide Sarah Brownstein, IT consultant Herb Watkins, and Be One Texas CEO Robert Evans Jones.
"Those wishing to donate or assist in the endeavor should contact Mike Kanin at email@example.com".
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