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Local News Now to Relaunch Borderstan, Sell Bethesda Now

Borderstan and Bethesda Now logos

Local News Now LLC, the publisher of ARLnow.com, announced today that it has acquired beloved D.C. neighborhood news site Borderstan.com and has agreed to sell BethesdaNow.com.

LNN acquired Borderstan in March from Matt Rhoades and Luis Gomez, who co-founded the site in 2008. The company plans to relaunch Borderstan early this summer, carrying on the site’s community-based reporting in the Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and U Street neighborhoods. As part of its relaunch Borderstan will add Columbia Heights to its coverage area.

Bethesda Now is being purchased by Bethesda Magazine and will be folded into the magazine’s online daily news publication, Bethesda Beat. Bethesda Now editor Aaron Kraut will join Bethesda Beat editor Andrew Metcalf as part of an expansion of the publication.

“Since it launched in 2012 Bethesda Now has set a high standard for local news reporting,” said Steve Hull, editor and publisher of Bethesda Magazine. “With Andrew and Aaron teaming up, Bethesda Beat will be able to provide even more coverage of Bethesda and the surrounding towns.”

“Selling the site was a hard decision, but it was made easier knowing that we were selling to a locally owned, independent media company with a long tradition of service to the Bethesda community,” said Scott Brodbeck, founder of LNN. “The sale will help our company focus our growth and pursue new opportunities.”

Borderstan co-founders Gomez and Rhoades will assist with the site’s relaunch, serving as advisors to LNN’s editorial and sales staff.

“We are thrilled that Local News Now purchased and will relaunch Borderstan,” Gomez and Rhoades said jointly, in a statement. “Scott Brodbeck and his team will maintain our commitment to community news coverage.”

“We want to thank our contributors again for their dedication and hard work,” Gomez and Rhoades continued. “Finally, we are grateful for the support we received from the community and local businesses over the years. We’re looking forward to that support continuing as Borderstan emerges from its two-year hibernation with a full-time editor, its own office and plenty of new neighborhood stories to uncover.”

The acquisition of Borderstan follows LNN’s successful launch of Hill Now, which covers the Capitol Hill area of D.C., this past fall. LNN now has offices in the Rosslyn and Dupont Circle neighborhoods, plus journalists in Reston and on Capitol Hill, reflecting the company’s commitment to community news coverage in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia.

In addition to the Borderstan relaunch, LNN will be embarking on a web development project this spring and summer that will optimize its websites for mobile viewing.

“Our mobile audience continues to grow, so we need to optimize our sites to better serve those readers,” Brodbeck said. “At the same time, we will be finding ways to serve our local advertisers with innovative, mobile-optimized solutions. The rise of mobile is both an opportunity and a threat to online publishers, who are worried that smaller screens will mean smaller ad dollars. We’re confident that we can capitalize on the opportunities – without resorting to the all-too-common interruptive mobile ads that annoy readers.”

Founded in 2010, Local News Now is an online publishing company that’s building a sustainable business model for online local news. With offices in Arlington, Va. and Washington, D.C., LNN publishes community-focused local news websites, including ARLnow.com (Arlington), HillNow.com (Capitol Hill) and RestonNow.com (Reston).

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