MediaLife mag is reporting (h/t to LA Observed) that billionaire Philip Anschutz is finally ready to expand his free daily newspaper Examiner brand to Los Angeles.
Anschutz began dramatically expanding the brand after buying the once-major San Francisco Examiner paper, which had evolved into a free daily. He launched free Examiner papers in D.C. and Baltimore. Media Life writes;
It's looking like Los Angeles, and as early as the end of the year, according to a newspaper industry source familiar with the growth plans of parent Clarity Media Group, owned by Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz.
The Los Angeles Examiner would directly challenge the foundering Los Angeles Times, owned by Tribune Co.
Clarity has trademarked the Examiner name in 69 markets, and it's said it plans several additional launches in the near future, but chain executives decline to confirm or deny that it is working to launch in Los Angeles by year's end.
Media buyers in Los Angeles say they would welcome the Examiner as competition to the beleaguered Los Angeles Times.
“It could be a good time for the Examiner to break through and fill the gap the LA Times is leaving,” Adam Block, a print media buyer at Initiative Media North America in Los Angeles, tells Media Life
The core Examiner model is known: a free daily with lots of local stories aimed largely at busy women as the key household decision-makers and offering advertisers rates a third or half of those charged by the existing newspaper.
Of course, there was a Los Angeles Examiner early last century; it eventually became the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, which folded in 1989.
More recently, ex-Mayor Dick Riordan attempted to launch an alt weekly called LA Examiner, featuring the work of Ken Layne and Matt Welch. But that paper never got past a prototype.
LA Examiner was also the name of Layne's and Welch's LA-centric blog, which originally inspired me to launch Franklin Avenue. They let it die in late 2003, but kept the link to laexaminer.com alive, for posterity sake (as well as examinerla.com, which was the address for the Riordan paper). But checking both web addresses yesterday, I discovered that they've both finally been yanked -- with a simple domain placeholder instead. (You can still access the old sites by the Internet Archive, of course.)
Between that and the disappearance of LABlogs.com, the remnants of LA's original blog-la-sphere is fading away.