What's next? Yelp doing local restaurant reviews and reporting on local business news? This could be a trend worth keeping an eye on.
Big national media players are watching the success of indie local news operations, often run by a single local journalist, and realizing they can enter a local news space, hire two or three of the area's best journalists, and potentially dominate local coverage. For instance, Axios Local just announced plans to move into Richmond, and the New York Times paid a whopping $550 million for The Athletic, an online subscription sports magazine, with plans to increase its local presence by hiring local talent. The Athletic's co-founder famously said, "We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last one's standing." And here we have Yelp doing interview features with local business owners. Right now, this is happening in larger markets than Charlottesville, but I suspect that could change in the near future. Will this be a good thing? A disaster for the local media landscape? Again, worth keeping an eye on.