Pittsburgh news site The Incline is up for sale | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh news site The Incline is up for sale

The Incline's parent company Spirited Media is reportedly in talks with a local buyer.

After about two and half years in the Pittsburgh region, the news and social media website The Incline is searching for a potential buyer.

According to a Medium post from Spirited Media vice president Chris Krewson, the company has sold its Denver news site, Denverite, to Colorado Public Radio. Spirited Media's other two newsrooms, Billy Penn in Philadelphia and The Incline in Pittsburgh, are currently up for sale. In the Medium post, Krewson states that they are in talks with potential local buyers in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and is "hoping to have announcements on their futures in the coming weeks."

The Incline started in Pittsburgh in September 2016. The site's format is a mix of original local coverage and aggregation of other local media stories, including Pittsburgh City Paper, TV news, local newspapers, and even national stories that publish-Pittsburgh related stories. 

Lexi Belculfine, The Incline's founding editor, is hopeful for the site's future.

“There are some great potential buyers here, and we’re optimistic that The Incline will soon have a new home that allows us to continue the work our readers and members love,” said Belculfine.

Over the years, The Incline has attempted different methods to raise revenue for its product and small newsroom. The Incline lost one staffer in 2017, as part of a round of layoffs by Spirited Media. Spirited Media also merged with Avoriaz in March 2017. In February 2018, The Incline launched a membership drive that included swag, access to events, special newsletters, and other perks.

Krewson brought up Spirited Media's different revenue-generating strategies in his post and addressed the difficulty of starting a media company.

"The latest pivot reflects the reality of being a startup in these difficult times for the local media business: There is more money out there for companies like ours to earn helping others do what we do via consulting than continuing to raise money to expand into new markets," wrote Krewson.

The Incline has broken several local stories, including political runs of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Pittsburgh City Council candidate Leon Ford. The site also specializes in quirky stories explaining local history, as well as features on the food and cultural scene.

Its reporters include Colin Deppen, Rossilynne Culgan, and MJ Slaby. 

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