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Suburban news pubs headed for more mailboxes

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A chain of “hyper-local” community newsletters has entered four more Indianapolis-area suburbs and plans to launch in Greenwood, its 10th market, in June.

Locally based TownePost Media Network licenses its format to publishers in each community. It provides a network of writers, layout assistance and other support services for the newsletters that it says reach more than 100,000 central Indiana readers each month.

Focused primarily on northern suburbs, TownePost licensees recently launched newsletters for Broad Ripple, Lawrence, Noblesville and the Morse Reservoir area. Publications for Fishers and Zionsville began circulating last year. TownePost also counts a newsletter in Center Grove, which will make the upcoming Greenwood publication its second south of Indianapolis.

Fishers townepost 15colThe Fishers newsletter launched in early 2013 under licensees Laurie and Matt Quinn. (Image courtesy TownePost Media Network)

TownePost was created a decade ago by Tom Britt, a veteran of specialty publishing and marketing. He also once hosted the “weekend update” on WZPL-FM 99.5’s "Smiley Morning Show."

Britt’s first effort was targeted at the wealthy bedroom community of Geist, northeast of Indianapolis. Even after TownePost expanded into other communities, the estimated annual average income of its readers is $114,000, compared with the state average of $44,000.

Stories typically range from coverage of economic development initiatives to profiles of local celebrities, business people, politicians and successful students.

“We kind of carved the niche early on of being hyper-local. We’re looking at a very myopic view of just that community,” said Britt. “That’s been our secret sauce for 10 years.“

Most of the distribution is via direct mail, with about 10 percent of the publications available at retailers such as CVS, Kroger and Marsh Supermarkets.

Britt said he sees a vacuum in the market, with the shrinkage of suburban coverage by some mainline newspapers such as The Indianapolis Star and specialized publications once offered by parent Gannett Co. Inc.

The newsletters, which have evolved over the years to appear more magazine-like, were formerly printed on glossy paper that give them an upscale look. Recently, the design was toned down to a matte finish, a trend now more common in the magazine world.

Britt also created website versions and apps for each newsletter, along with video content and the usual feeds via social media channels.

Britt is contemplating expansion. He wants to expand TownePost's reach to cities around the Midwest with extensive suburbs.

His licensees are often businesspeople who know their communities and are able to drum up their own ad sales.

Laurie and Matt Quinn, of Fishers, were in other lines of work before becoming licensees for the Fishers newsletter, which launched in early 2013. Laurie Quinn is chief publisher, and grew the newsletter such that her husband, Matt, left his 80-hour-a-week job to pitch in.

“It’s gotten so big I’m helping her,” he said of his new boss.

“There’s an awful lot of economic development news in Fishers right now,” he said, as well as compelling stories to tell about schools and not-for-profits.

The publications appeal to potential advertisers who don’t have a big marketing budget but might justify an ad that reaches the right person just down the street.

“As print, Internet and video media converge locally, we’re positioning ourselves to be a news and small business promotional conduit for the communities we serve,” Britt has said of Townepost's strategy in marketing materials.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that John and Ann Craig-Cinnamon publish the Carmel newsletter. They did at one time, but no longer do.

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  • Ann Craig-Cinnamon
    She is now the Managing Editor of Current in Fishers.
  • No Carmel Licensee
    John and Ann Craig-Cinnamon have not been involved with the Carmel newsletter for nearly six months.

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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