FAYETTEVILLE — CityView, a Fayetteville-based online news organization, and The Assembly, a digital-first magazine covering power and place in North Carolina, have launched a strategic partnership to strengthen local reporting across Fayetteville and the Sandhills.
The goal, according to CityView owner Tony Chavonne and Assembly founder Kyle Villemain, is to bring together two teams: one with local knowledge, relationships, and a long track record of commitment to place, and one with a statewide view and a reputation for in-depth, investigative reporting.
Together, both teams can achieve more than they could alone: Fayetteville will benefit from more rigorous and stronger reporting, and statewide readers will gain a better understanding of one of the state’s most unique and diverse cities.
“Collaboration is key in order to establish sustainable news coverage models in America’s hometowns,” said CityView Publisher Tony Chavonne. “The expertise, professional connections and institutional knowledge that The Assembly brings to our joint relationship helps ensure that CityView can meet its goal of equipping people with the information they need to make the places they live better. We remain committed to the belief that an informed public builds a better community.”
The Assembly will provide editorial support for news, features and investigative reporting for CityView, and the two organizations will work to increasingly pool resources for back-end functions, including marketing, digital strategy, design and copyediting. Leadership from the two outlets will meet weekly to plan joint editorial efforts and support, as well as to discuss shared resources and needs, and explore further integrations.
As part of the partnership, CityView’s expanding newsroom will include grant-funded healthcare reporting, a growing “HomeFront” initiative for military reporting in and around Fort Liberty, and the addition of reporting interns in conjunction with Fayetteville State University. CityView also employs a number of freelance reporters to provide local government and politics reporting and sports coverage in Cumberland County.
A re-launch of a newly designed and structured CityView Today — a free daily digital newsletter serving Fayetteville and Cumberland County — and website are planned for the fall, according to new Executive Editor Bill Horner III.
“CityView Today already has a large audience and high reader engagement,” Horner said. “We’re going to make it absolutely essential reading by expanding our storytelling, using new story forms and focusing on news and beats that are most vital to life and living in Fayetteville.”
Horner joins the CityView team after a four-decade newspaper career, including more than 30 years with The Sanford Herald, founded by his grandfather in 1930. As a partner in Chatham Media Group beginning in late 2018, Horner most recently served as publisher and editor of the Chatham News + Record until the newspaper’s sale in May. Over the last four years, the newspaper and its new products won more news awards than any weekly publication in North Carolina.
Maydha Devarajan, a former Chatham News + Record reporter who is finishing a fellowship at Facing South in Durham, will join CityView in October as managing editor. CityView Today reporters Char Morrison and Evey Weisblat will focus on government and other news coverage; long-time CityView editor and writer Bobby Parker will contribute and continue to lead CityView’s magazine team.
CityView magazine, which publishes monthly, will continue its focus to inform, involve and inspire readers by telling good stories that matter to its community, and to publish an array of specialty publications.
The Assembly is a subscription-based digital magazine that reports across North Carolina. Partnerships in the Triangle, with the 40-year-old alt-weekly INDY Week, and in Wilmington, with the public radio station WHQR, represent two other city and regional collaborations designed to create a network of reporters and readers across the state that can benefit from pooled resources, joint reporting, and shared talent.
CityView and The Assembly both remain independent outlets with their own governance structures.
The Assembly: theassemblync.com