Online news site Raleigh & Company to end in November

The Capitol Broadcasting Company-owned online news site Raleigh & Company – often abbreviated as Raleigh & Co. – will stop production next month.

John Conway, the general manager for WRAL.com and CBC New Media Group, confirmed the rumor of the site’s pending demise on Tuesday. The site will stay up, but no new content will be produced.

“I can confirm that the Raleigh & Company website will not be updated with new content starting Nov. 15,” Conway said in an email. “We’re taking a breather to evaluate future options. While we saw some modest audience growth over the past couple years, we could not find a business model to sustain the site as it exists today.”

The site’s “About Us” section says, along with a solicitation for writers and stories: “We write about local businesses, personalities, trends and politics.” The list of contributors includes local bloggers and freelance writers, along with WRAL sports radio personality Joe Ovies. R.L. Bynum writes a local media column for the site, and Hayes Permar’s humorous videos on the site are widely shared on social media.

Raleigh & Co.’s genesis

The site was started in 2014 by UNC-Chapel Hill graduate Jordan Rogers, who worked on it while at WCHL radio. Rogers said he sold the site to Capitol Broadcasting in August 2015, “when it became obvious we couldn’t sell enough ads to pay writers well, and I was burned out.”

Rogers continued to work for the site for a few months before leaving.

“I stopped working on R&C soon after that fall when it became apparent CBC didn’t grasp what had made the site successful in the first place; they kept most of what was unnecessary or what we only brought on for the initial launch to earn trust, and cut out most of everything that had made the site different,” Rogers wrote in a statement to the News & Observer. “Start-up media is extremely difficult, and I commend WRAL for trying new things. No one has pulled this off yet – Raleigh Agenda and RaleighCo and New Raleigh and ExitEvent are all cautionary tales. This stuff is hard.”

Brooke Cain: 919-829-4579, @brookecain