Ebyline Launches News Content Marketplace Exclusive to Publishers and Professional Journalists; Economic Model Rewards High-Quality Reporting, Reduces Operational Costs

Initial Partners Include Variety, ProPublica and The Journalism Shop

IFRA Expo 2010

LOS ANGELES--()--Ebyline (www.ebyline.com) today launched as a content marketplace for news publishers and professional journalists, creating an alternative model dedicated to preserving and monetizing high-quality reporting.

The marketplace and underlying technology enable those who produce original news content and those who publish it to do business with each other, buying and selling news on an á la carte basis using a secure online platform that manages many administrative tasks – freeing up time and budgets, permitting both sides to dedicate more resources to quality journalism.

For freelancers, Ebyline’s online platform lets writers “self-syndicate,” giving them the ability to pitch, sell finished work to news organizations and negotiate fees with publishers. Ebyline is for professional journalists only – freelancers must have a track record in the business in order to gain access.

For publishers, the platform introduces new incremental revenue opportunities and significant cost savings, enabling news publishers to assign and to buy stories á la carte from freelance writers, and to buy and sell their news content directly with publishers.

Variety, the premier source of business entertainment news, will use Ebyline to sell its film reviews and additional content to other publications for the first time.

The deal demonstrates Ebyline’s ability to syndicate specialized reporting – sports, entertainment and other feature-based news content are a few examples – and make it available to publications that lack the resources to cover those stories on their own.

Additional partners providing content include Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica, and independent organizations like Minnpost.com and The Texas Observer. Ebyline will draw on an extensive list of publishers, to be added over time.

At launch, some of Ebyline’s journalist members include credentialed freelancers from The Journalism Shop, a co-op of newspaper veterans seeking freelance assignments, and The Sports Media Exchange. The Journalism Shop was founded by former Los Angeles Times staffers, and the organization is expanding to include experienced journalists from around the country. The Sports Media Exchange matches sports publications and organizations with sportswriters to cover events around the U.S. and worldwide.

Ebyline received its initial round of funding from Los Angeles-based angel investors. Members of Ebyline’s advisory board include Jeff Johnson, former publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times; Leo Wolinsky, editor of Daily Variety and former managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, where he directed two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams; Bob Bellack, founder of Classified Ventures and former president of Los Angeles Times Digital; Robert Wallace, president of Wallace Media, former VP of Original Entertainment for ESPN, executive editor of Rolling Stone magazine, and Emmy-winning producer at ABC News; and Lance Sanders, founder of Faketown.com and former NASA engineer.

“We’re dedicated to the proliferation of quality journalism in its purest form, as the first service to embrace a revenue model based around the exchange of news,” said Bill Momary, Ebyline co-founder. “News outlets and freelancers need an economic model for the digital age, and Ebyline is it – this truly is ‘entrepreneurial journalism’ in action. We come from a newspaper background, and we’re committed to helping traditional news organizations and journalists do business with each other in real time in a marketplace that ultimately elevates the level of competition to reward quality.”

“Ebyline provides us with an easy, cost-effective way to syndicate our own content and create an entirely new revenue stream,” said Brian Gott, Publisher, Variety.

The Ebyline exchange enables publishers and professional freelancers to buy, sell and distribute news content through an intuitive web interface. There are no subscription fees and no upfront costs – access and setup are free for all parties. Buyers pay an 8 percent transaction fee only once an individual sale is final. Ebyline’s initial partners have indicated that they will price stories between $25 - $300.

Ebyline’s Freelance Administration tool manages all pitch and assignment workflow, archives drafts and editor feedback, and automatically submits final articles into a publisher’s content management system. Ebyline also handles all payment processing – including 1099 tax forms – for both buyers and sellers, in a platform that remains private and secure. As soon as an editor clicks to accept a submitted article, payment is automatically transferred to the journalist – reducing administrative tasks and creating reliably short payment cycles.

“Before Ebyline, the average cost for a major metropolitan newspaper to process one invoice for one freelancer for one story was about $8,” said Allen Narcisse, Ebyline co-founder. “That adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for big dailies, which often work with thousands freelancers over the course of a year. Ebyline streamlines that entire process to create a much leaner newsroom, significantly reducing costs and freeing up budget for the actual process of news gathering. We developed Ebyline to work with a variety of business models. Whether print, digital-only or non-profit, our solution helps any organization save money, save time and maintain high-quality journalism.”

About Ebyline

Ebyline (www.ebyline.com) is a content exchange for news publishers and professional journalists, creating an alternative model dedicated to preserving high-quality reporting. The marketplace and underlying technology platform enable those who produce news content and those who publish it to do business with each other, buying and selling news on an á la carte basis using a secure online platform that is a fully functional marketplace and manages all administrative tasks – freeing up time and budgets on both sides to dedicate more resources to quality journalism. Founded by veterans of the Los Angeles Times and specialists in new content distribution opportunities, Ebyline’s partners include Variety, ProPublica, Minnpost.com, The Journalism Shop and more. Ebyline is based in Los Angeles.

Contacts

Edge Communications, Inc.
Ken Greenberg
(818) 990-5001,
ken@edgecommunicationsinc.com

Release Summary

Ebyline Launches News Content Marketplace Exclusive to Publishers and Professional Journalists; Economic Model Rewards High-Quality Reporting, Reduces Operational Costs

Contacts

Edge Communications, Inc.
Ken Greenberg
(818) 990-5001,
ken@edgecommunicationsinc.com