Who We Are

"Local News, created by locals, delivered locally, and supported by local advertisers."

MISSION

Connecting communities and businesses through relevant local news that informs, educates and inspires.

our story

Local newspapers have been the backbone of communities for over 200 years, but during the last 20 years, they’ve virtually disappeared, creating more than 1,800 US news “deserts”, leaving 27,000 newsroom employees jobless, small communities uninformed, and small businesses without a way to reach local residents and visitors.  

Most of the remaining newspapers began charging for their digital news and installing paywalls - blocking non-subscribers from getting the news - even though 86 percent of Americans feel access to local news should be free ( Knight Foundation .

Laurie Sigillito of Durango, Colorado, wanted to find a way to provide local news – supported by advertising revenue – to help small towns without reliable local news connect with each other, community leaders and local businesses.   

In 2013, she purchased the local cable access TV station in Durango, Colorado, where she already owned a sign and graphics business. At the TV station, she saw firsthand the impact that local news could have on a community. As a small business owner, Sigillito’s local newspaper had been her “go-to” advertising platform to reach her local prospects and customers. Traditional advertising was expensive, had limited targeting and not very effective. She wanted to keep her advertising dollars in the local community, building tax revenue and creating jobs.  

In 2019, she and Bert Carder launched The Local News Network in Durango. Carder, a serial entrepreneur has started 5 businesses across the USA and Asia working on SaaS (software as a service) and data and digital innovation solutions in the travel, training, recruiting and news industries.

The Local News Network addresses two problems shared by at least 1,800 US “news desert” markets by providing relevant local news in small towns and communities, and by offering local businesses an easy, affordable and effective way to reach their local prospects and customers.

Our digital video news is always free to subscribers, without paywalls or required logins. News is accessible to viewers and listeners anytime in the format they prefer: on the website, mobile app, social media, newsletters, and podcasts. Additionally, a proprietary digital display network in high-traffic locations around town - in shops and restaurants, banks and community buildings - makes it easy for consumers to watch news and see advertising wherever they are throughout their day. 

In addition to creating video news, we also offer professional eye-catching video ad creation services for businesses who want to tell their story to local consumers and visitors.

Our dedicated corporate team and contracted local video journalists and editors create and distribute the news.  Story ideas are generated internally and from members of the community. 

PRESS
Small-Town Newspapers May Be Disappearing But the Need for News Remains

DURANGO, Colo., May 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Local newspapers have been the backbone of communities in the U.S. for over 200 years, but during the last 20 years, they've virtually disappeared.

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Creative broadcast news solution Local News Network fills void in small news deserts

The Local News Network offers a new business model to help small and rural news deserts regain momentum. The broadcast outlet produces individual news stories that air at various video displays across each market. The stories are packaged with local business advertisements, which LNN produces, or advertisers provide.

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Local NEWS Network (LNN) WEIGHS IN ON HOW COMMUNITIES CAN BRING BACK LOCAL JOURNALISM

Durango, CO - Bert Carder, the COO of Local NEWS Network (LNN) recently contributed his thoughts to Startup Colorado on the challenges and business opportunities ahead with bringing back local news to small towns across the USA.

It’s no news that local news has been dying in slow motion for two decades. Successive technological and economic assaults have destroyed the for-profit business model that sustained local journalism for two centuries. Since 2005, more than one-fourth of the country’s newspapers have disappeared and half of the journalists let go, leaving residents in thousands of communities – inner-city neighborhoods, suburban towns and rural communities – in vast news deserts.

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LOCAL NEWS NETWORK (LNN) SITS DOWN WITH DURANGO HERALD
Title: A new model for local news by the Durango Herald

With small-town newspapers struggling across the country, some even closing their doors, a Durango entrepreneur sees an opportunity producing videos to help keep local news viable.

Laurie Sigillito’s Local NEWS Network began in Durango by producing 3- to 5-minute videos to air on Durango’s Spectrum Cable Channel 15 to fill the ample programming space remaining after the channel had aired four hours of news from KUSA-TV, NBC’s affiliate in Denver.

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LOCAL NEWS NETWORK (LNN) ATTENDS THE ROCKIES VENTURE CLUB (RVC) HYPERACCELERATOR IN JUNE, PREPARING ITSELF FOR A SEED ROUND OF INVESTMENT FUNDING.

Durango, CO - Local NEWS Network (LNN) was one of 8 companies to attend the week long RVC HyperAccelerator between June 22nd-29th. 

The workshop was led by a dozen RVC teachers and mentors from all over the country, and delivered over 50 hours of Zoom calls, concluding with a pitch to their investor network. The topics included Pitching, Exit Strategies, Valuations, Due Diligence, GTM Strategies, Financial Planning, and even Term Sheets. 

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LOCAL NEWS NETWORK (LNN) PARTICIPATING IN THE SOUTHERN COLORADO ACCELERATOR PROGRAM (SCAPE)

June 2, 2020 - Durango, CO - Local NEWS Network (LNN) is 1 of 5 SW Colorado Companies chosen to go through the SCAPE 2020 Accelerator Program.

LNN launched in April 2019 with the goal to expand its profitable local news business model to 50 towns over the next 3 years. Local affiliates are able to bring back local news to their towns and provide an effective marketing platform for local businesses to reach locals, using the proprietary LNN news production process, local distribution platform and back office support.

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LOCAL NEWS NETWORK (LNN) APPROVED FOR FUNDING AS PART OF THE COLORADO’S ADVANCED INDUSTRIES ACCELERATOR GRANT PROGRAM.

May 21, 2020 - Durango, CO - Local NEWS Network (LNN) is 1 of 27 Colorado Companies approved for an Early Stage Capital and Retention award in the amount of $100,000 through the Advanced Industries (AI) Accelerator Program.

The Durango-based LNN, which has local Affiliate Partners in Durango, Telluride, Cortez and Pagosa Springs, will use this grant to expand their local news media platform to additional Colorado towns in the coming months. LNN is helping these towns create jobs, rebuild their local news with good news stories, help local businesses promote themselves locally and retain advertising dollars in their communities.

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LOCAL NEWS NETWORK (LNN) EXPANDS ACROSS SOUTHWEST COLORADO

March 7, 2020 - Durango, CO - Local NEWS Network (LNN) announces its local news network platform is now reaching viewers in four locations across Southwest Colorado: Durango, Telluride, Montezuma County, and Pagosa Springs.

The Durango-based LNN, which launched in April 2019 has expanded into Telluride, Colorado and Montezuma County, Colorado in 2019 and recently added a fourth location in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The company plans to add 4 more locations in 2020 and expand up to 50 locations in the next 36 months, creating 150 new jobs along the way.

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The Team

Laurie Sigillito

Chief Executive Officer

After a successful career in technology and management, Laurie opened the Durango FASTSIGNS® in 2009. In 2013, she purchased DurangoTV. Laurie was the Colorado State Competition winner with her 2018 Business Plan for starting a visual communications company. She was also awarded Entrepreneur for the year award in 2020 by Durango Chamber of Commerce and FASTSIGNS Award her their prodigious FASTSIGNS Franchisee of the year in 2015.

Bert Carder

Chief Operating Officer

Bert has previously started 4 businesses in the Online Travel, Cloud Based Management Software, Business Consulting, and Professional Beauty sectors. Before co-founding LNN, he worked as both the Durango Territory Manager for SpotOn Transact, an enterprise-level software company out of San Francisco helping retailers engage their customers instore, as well as Head of Sales across Asia for Ksubaka, the world’s first in-store interactive advertising network being used by over 16 global brands.

Nathan Morris

Chief Technology Officer

After stints in Austin and Silicon Valley, Nathan co-founded Web Services Management in Durango in 2010 - a boutique web services and software company. A seasoned entrepreneur and technology architect, he has built several Content Management Systems (CMS) systems for media companies, and has deep experience weaving web, mobile, cloud and backend technologies into cohesive systems.

Matt Crossett

Production Supervisor

Matt is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and television director. He spent years as a production manager and producer in Los Angeles working in reality tv, big-budget films, music videos, and AAA title video games. In addition to his entertainment career, Matt has served on a number of non-profit boards including Skijoring America and the Four Corners Film Office. He is responsible for developing and managing the best production and post practices. Additionally he is tasked with growing distribution and monetization of stories.

Deborah Uroda

News Director

After an award-winning journalism career, she joined Laurie in 2013 to launch Durango TV and blended her knowledge of journalism and public relations to build a proven process for creating short video news stories that are relevant to the community and have in-depth reporting. As NEWS Producer of LNN, she trains journalists how to transition from a print-based writer to a video journalist, how to find relevant and important stories in their community, and how to write stories using the LNN VideoScript Template™.

Wendy Graham Settle

Training & Onboarding Manager

Wendy Graham Settle (PHR, SHRM-CP) is a dynamic Learning and Development professional with a passion for marketing. Her superpower is clear written and verbal communication on camera or in front of live audiences. Her rich 20 year career includes work with small tech startups and large Fortune 500 corporations. Wendy's international relations background and energy for travel and languages gives her a global view that makes it easy for her to quickly connect and influence. She is a credentialed human resource professional through the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Human Capital Institute (HCI). Outside of corporate training, Wendy leads a variety of music, song and dance events across the USA and around the world.
https://news.wooster.edu/profiles/alumni/2020/08/news-anchor-serves-as-trustworthy-source-for-her-community-during-pandemic/

Zach Marqua

Video Editor

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Film from Montana State University, Zach moved to Los Angeles where he worked freelance in the film and television industry. When the pandemic brought him back to his hometown Durango in 2020, he had a serendipitous encounter with Matt Crossett of the LNN while hiking, and soon after joined the LNN team. As videographer and editor, Zach employs his love for visual storytelling to produce content that's relevant and engaging to the community he loves the most.
Our Amazing Team of Advisors

Allison Seabeck

Executive Director of the Warehouse Business Accelerator

Allison is Executive Director of the Warehouse Business Accelerator and has a passion for helping visionary leaders and growing organizations make greater and more positive impacts in the world. Previously, Allison was the President of Prosci Inc., a global training and consulting organization specializing in the discipline of change management, and led the team responsible through the founder's exit, two Private Equity transactions and two international add-on acquisitions. During her tenure, Prosci's top-line revenues and bottom-line profits tripled and Prosci was named to Forbes' ‘Top 20 Best Places To Work’ list. Allison graduated from the College of William and Mary with a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, the science and power of language and communication.

Drue Townsend

An Outside View Consulting, LLC

Drue Townsend has over 30 years of experience as a marketing, advertising and communications professional in the sign and visual graphics, hospitality and telecommunications industries. She has a wealth of business-to-business experience working directly for franchisors, manufacturers, and advertising and marketing agencies that have been family-owned, privately held, or private-equity owned. Prior to creating An Outside View Consulting, LLC in March, 2020 to offer marketing advisory services to small and medium-sized businesses, Drue spent 24 years in positions of increasing responsibility with FASTSIGNS International, Inc., most recently, as the Senior Vice-President of Marketing.

Kim Sarubbi

Chairwoman of ACE (Associates for Connected Experiences)

Kim has 25 years of experience spanning film, television. digital signage, digital media, technology, ad sales and marketing. She was recruited right out of the University of Central Florida to help launch PetCARE TV, a combination Place-Based Media Channel in Veterinary offices and on Cable TV. When PetCARE TV was sold, she helped them transition to a digitally delivered Broadband network and launch a sister channel in pediatric offices called KidCARE TV. She is the only woman ever to be elected Chairwoman of the Digital Signage Federation and during her tenure was tapped to write the industry standards manual on creating content for the Digital Signage Industry. She is currently chairwoman of ACE (Associates for Connected Experiences.)

David Weir

Advisory Board Member

David Weir is a journalist and author who has published in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Economist, The Nation, salon.com, wired.com, Mother Jones, California, New West, New York, LA Weekly and many others; is a co-founder of the Center for Investigative Reporting; author of four books; a former executive at KQED, Excite@Home, Salon, Wired; and taught journalism at U-C Berkeley, Stanford, and SF State for many years.

Mark Jameson

Chief Support and Development Officer, Propelled Brands

Mark is Executive Vice President, Franchise Support & Development for FASTSIGNS International and has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of franchising in both consumer industries (home services, food and retail), as well as business-to-business (flooring; signs and graphics). He joined FASTSIGNS International in 2009 and today leads Franchise Support (including Training, Operations and Supply Chain) and global Franchise Development. Since joining the company, the brand has added more than 200 locations domestically and signed international agreements to enter twelve new countries (UAE, Malta, Italy, Greece, Chile, Spain, the Caribbean, and 4 others in the Middle East). Prior to joining FASTSIGNS, Mark was the Vice-President of Franchise Development for 8 years for multiple franchise-owned brands at CCA Global Partners including ProSource Wholesale Floor Covering.
Invest

Local News Network received several grants and we generate revenue through creative services and advertising sales. We plan to expand to other markets and continue offering FREE news, without paywalls or logins required. Our business model is technologically sustainable, scalable, and repeatable and relies on local “feet on the street” to identify important news topics that matter, and advertisers who want to reach their local audience.

Contact Us for a Company Overview: GO HERE

If you are interested in becoming an investor, partner or advisor for Local News Network, send an email or call:

Bert Carder

COO

bert@thelocalnews.us 970-300-3428 x701
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