Philly.com “is increasingly competing against the dailies’ newsrooms with its own writers,” Daniel Denvir writes. The website, like The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, is owned by Interstate General Media and shares content with both, but the newspapers’ sites are premium and Philly.com is free.
Lexie Norcross, the daughter of IGM’s George Norcross, runs Philly.com, and under her leadership the site has “sometimes tested the limits of journalistic norms,” Denvir writes.
Some of Denvir’s examples: “In May, Philly.com posted a disclaimer next to an Inquirer business column — seemingly at the request of an advertiser”; there was the whole business of giving the governor a column; and Lexie Norcross, he writes, tweeted in support of Cory Booker.
The free site, Denvir writes, “continues to provide free access to the papers’ content while the two new sites, basically unadvertised on Philly.com and generally not marketed to the public, keep the same content locked behind hard paywalls.” Interviews with unnamed newsroom sources lead him to the conclusion that “There is a growing consensus that they were built to fail.”