NBC deems EveryBlock a dead end, turns off news service

The hyperlocal source of news and information may have been an innovative approach to media, but NBC says it wasn't doing well as a business.

EveryBlock circa 2009. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

NBC shut down its hyperlocal news site EveryBlock -- a data-driven platform that let users search for news based on where they live -- because the site wasn't doing well as a business.

EveryBlock, once heralded as an innovative approach to media, said its final good-bye to its users in a blog post on the now dark site:

It's no secret that the news industry is in the midst of a massive change. Within the world of neighborhood news there's an exciting pace of innovation yet increasing challenges to building a profitable business. Though EveryBlock has been able to build an engaged community over the years, we're faced with the decision to wrap things up.

An NBC executive told news watchdog Poynter that EveryBlock "was struggling with the business model, " and so the media corporation decided to close it.

The open-sourced EveryBlock came to life after the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded the site's creator funding in 2007. The organization's Knight News Challenge awards startups that have the most innovative media ideas. MSNBC purchased the site in 2009, and then NBC took over when it bought back its shares of MSNBC last year.

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