Add ESPN to the list of national news outlets positioning themselves to capitalize on the demise of local newspapers.
The "Worldwide Leader in Sports" this week said it plans to launch ESPNChicago.com, a Web site devoted to the Chicago sports scene. The site, scheduled to launch in April, will feature a daily Chicago version of "Sportscenter," ESPN's signature sports news show, and contributions from ESPN columnists and radio personalities with ties to the city.
ESPN hopes ESPNChicago.com will be the first of a series of new sites that will deepen its online penetration in local markets, following an increasingly popular approach for major content providers. Having already built a national audience of devotees of a particular topic, some publishers are targeting subgroups linked by geography and civic pride.