Street Fight Daily: Village Voice Editors Walk Out, Tumult at CityGrid

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.

Slide16Top Editors Abruptly Leave Village Voice Over Staff Cuts (New York Times)
The tumult that has characterized The Village Voice in recent years resurfaced on Thursday when the top two editors said they were leaving the weekly newspaper. Will Bourne, who became editor last November, and Jessica Lustig, the deputy editor since January, met with the staff at 11 a.m. on Thursday to announce their departure.

10 Months After Furor, Hyperlocal News Service Journatic Presses On (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: In the spring of 2012, Journatic, the for-hire community news shop, was a hot property in the hyperlocal industry. But less than three months later, following a report on “This American Life” about Journatic’s practices, Tribune and several other publishers suspended all work by the local news company. Tribune has resumed some use of Journatic’s work since, and I recently went to the company’s new VP of media services, Hanke Gratteau, to find out more about how the service was faring.

What’s Going on at CityGrid? (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: A couple of days ago I got an email from someone (not at IAC) telling me that CityGrid CEO Jason Finger had resigned. Then I received another email from a different person saying the decision had been made “months ago.” One source characterized Citysearchto me as having lost so much momentum that it was effectively “dead.”

Movers and Shakers: Openings & New Hires at CityGrid, Google Wallet, Groupon, Swipely and More (Street Fight)
Every two weeks, Search Influence’s Kelly Benish — who knows practically everyone in hyperlocal — covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry. (Plus, scroll down for jobs on offer now.)

Daily Voice Bankruptcy Is a Setback for ‘Hyperlocal’ News (Fortune)
Dan Mitchell: Hyperlocal news just doesn’t make much economic sense. With online ad rates in general small and shrinking, trying to derive revenue from tiny markets might be the worst possible strategy for a Web publisher. One of the ideas behind hyperlocal was that tiny neighborhoods are sort of a niche, but the ad markets in which they operate aren’t very different than they are for any other general news operation.

Losing Its Way: Why Google Would Be Stupid to Let Facebook Acquire Waze (GigaOm)
Matthew Ingram: News reports out of Israel say Facebook is in advanced talks with Waze — a mobile mapping and traffic-information service based in Israel — about acquiring the company for as much as $1 billion. There’s no sign that Google has shown an interest in acquiring Waze, but I think the company would be stupid not to at least consider trumping Facebook’s offer. It could wind up losing its way, and a bunch of mobile users to boot.

Mobile Marketing Spend Hits $6.7B In 2012, Forecasts Soar (MediaPost)
The mobile marketing ecosystem generated $139 billion in additional sales within the U.S. economy last year, with that figure expected to grow 52% annually to $400 billion by 2015. The vast majority of mobile’s sales impact — at least 85% — is taking place offline rather than through m-commerce transactions.

Groupon Opens Up —at Last (Crain’s Chicago Business)
For the first time, Groupon’s quarterly report broke out the financial results of each major business segment: traditional daily deals, the fast-growing Groupon Goods merchandise business and travel services. These numbers give investors a deeper look into Groupon’s business and a clearer picture of the trends driving its results.

Alibaba Confirms It has Bought 28% of AutoNavi, China’s Top Mapping System, for $294 Million (TheNextWeb)
E-commerce giant Alibaba has acquired a majority share (of up to 30 percent) in Beijing-based auto navigation firm AutoNavi, China’s top mapping platform. The deal follows speculation last month that Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent — China’s big three Internet firms — are each taking admiring glances at AutoNavi, That talk is of little surprise given AutoNavi’s dominant position in China’s GPS space.

As Users Tire Of Mayorship Wars, Foursquare Finds A New Way To Encourage Check-Ins: By Tapping Into Quantified Self Buzz (TechCrunch)
Though Foursquare is now busy trying to take on Yelp, one of its more rewarding, but personal, use cases (now that the fervor around badges and mayorships has died down), is its ability to add insight and data around your check-ins. Today, the service is making these little moments shareable with a new button that lets you edit and post that message to Facebook, Twitter and more.

LBMA PODCAST: Dwolla, Kiip, MoodMedia, and Now Founder Ben Broca (Street Fight)
In this week’s episode, hosts Rob Woodbridge and Asif Khan talk about ISIS’s plan to bring loyalty to vending machines. Meanwhile, Dwolla closes their $16.5 million series C; Kiip powers the “sour to sweet” campaign for Sour Patch Kids; MoodMedia pinpoints you by the music your hear; Google Now! comes to the iPhone and leaves a lot to the imagination; Foursquare is about to sell your data; and PJs that tell stories. Plus special guest Ben Broca, founder of Now.

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