Pegasus News to Become Wired Local

I’ve done an atrocious job of following up on my post revealing that Pegasus News is soon set for its relaunch. I failed to check in to see if they posted a response, which they did last week.

So if you’re a devoted reader of Pegasus News, then the headline on this post isn’t news at all. The new name will be Wired Local.

Look, I was in on some of the early discussions when another hyperlocal site in town was planning a name change. There were a lot of bad ideas floating around the room. I mean really, really, really bad. And you can see for yourself what they settled on (after I’d left the company.) But, lord knows, I didn’t have any brilliant ideas of my own at the time.  Coming up with the right name is tough. Particularly when you have expansion to other markets in mind.

And that’s where the trouble comes. When the Dallas Morning News stopped printing its weekly localized sections, like the one for Richardson, and folded that news into its Metro section with “focus pages,” readers were upset. Sure, DMN may have been providing just as many news items about Richardson as it ever had, only sprinkled throughout the week rather than collected together. But there was nothing that said “Richardson Morning News” at the top of the front page. (That’s why the Richardson Neighbors section was such a hit when it launched.)

My point is that in the hyperlocal business the name means a lot. If I’m interested in hyperlocal news it’s because I want to read about myself and my friends and my neighbors. If the name of the publication reflects that, with a true local connection that resonates, you’ve got my attention. (Of course, you still have to deliver the goods.)

If the name sounds generic, and pre-packaged, obviously designed to be portable into other markets, then I know its publishers already have their eyes on the next market. They don’t love me the way I thought they did. I’m not special.

Mike Orren says picking the name “Pegasus News” was a mistake. I don’t know that that name has gained much traction in the market — or whether it ever meant much to anyone in these parts anyway. But at least it was an attempt at connecting with the hearts of readers. (And I’m writing this from the local reader’s perspective, not with advertiser considerations in mind, which are of course a major factor, if not the major factor).

One last question: since we’re moving to a “wireless” world in so many ways, is “Wired Local” already a brand name with an approaching expiration date?

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