AxisPhilly shuts down; Digital First Media's Jim Brady to launch news venture - Technical.ly Philly

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Jun. 6, 2014 12:54 pm

AxisPhilly shuts down; Digital First Media’s Jim Brady to launch news venture

"While the quality of the work on the site was lauded nationally, it did not achieve consistent local impact," Temple University's Center for Public Interest Journalism said.

Jim Brady will lead a new news venture, incubated by Temple's Center for Public Interest Journalism.

This disclosure: The Center for Public Interest Journalism and the William Penn Foundation have been past Technical.ly Philly sponsors. Additionally, Technical.ly Philly staff have been involved in past strategy regarding the foundation's journalism funding.

Nonprofit news site AxisPhilly has shut down, its parent organization announced today.

But Temple University’s Center for Public Interest Journalism (CPIJ) also announced that it will incubate a new news venture, run by former Digital First Media executive Jim Brady. Also part of his team is former Inquirer online editor Chris Krewson.

The William Penn Foundation-backed organization’s future was called into question last summer when former CEO Neil Budde left the organization. AxisPhilly, which launched in late 2012, did not meet its goals, CPIJ said in today’s announcement: “While the quality of the work on the site was lauded nationally, it did not achieve consistent local impact and fell short of serving as a collaborative hub for the emerging news ecosystem, both of which were goals at founding.”

CPIJ will take over OpenDataPhilly, the city’s official open data portal, which AxisPhilly had been managing. Meanwhile, Brady, the former executive editor of WashingtonPost.com, will create a Philadelphia-based “news service that will seek to cultivate audiences currently disengaged from traditional news product.”

We can confirm the new site will be called Brother.ly. It will not receive any of the funding that was originally put aside for AxisPhilly, said Andrew Mendelson, CPIJ’s director. Part of the sudden movement here is CPIJ now has proper leadership in the way of Temple’s new communications school dean David Boardman.

AxisPhilly’s four employees will receive severance, Mendelson said.

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