After 6 years of operation and more than 5,000 published stories, community voices, videos and images, Oakland Local’s come to a fork in the road. Co-founder Susan Mernit has spent six years running the site as Editor/Publisher; 3 months ago, she told the board it was her intention to step down and seek others to take the site over–that moment is now.

As of June 1, 2015; Oakland Local is seeking new management–an RFP for prospective operators is here.

Oakland Local will continue to publish stories and updates with the current team through June 15th; all current advertising contracts will be honored and fulfilled. The site will remain live.

If you are someone who believes in community media, cares about our city, and wants to support diverse voices, we urge you to read the RFP and see if taking on Oakland Local is for you; it’s a rewarding task, one with huge value to so many people in our city, but one the current team is ready to move on from.

Thanks to everyone!

Huge kudos go to former Associate Publisher Margaret Lucas, who came in in 2012 and brought so much strategic life, energy and revenue into the site–there couldn’t have been a better business partner.

Editor Abraham Hyatt deserves huge kudos for his work on Oakland Police Beat, and LaToya Tooles, Juan Antonio Martinez, Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig, Meg Bertoni, Sophia Elson, Barbara Grady,and Suzanna Yada all get big thank yous for editing the site.

So many people have contributed to Oakland Local over the past 6 years that it is impossible to mention them all, but among the standouts are  CB Smith-Dahl, Irene Florez, Laura McCamy, Jennifer Inez Ward, Eric Arnold, Jon Luckie, Bonnie Chan, Tehea Robie, Pilar Reyes, Natalie Meier, Simone Larson, Katie Schwarz, Liza Veale, Liam Curley, Pendarvis Harshaw, C.J. Hirschfield, Miz Chris, Steve Fisher, Vanessa Rancano, Tymeesa Rutledge, Matthew Boitano, Joshua Cain, Hannah Li, Sara Kassabian, J. Douglas Allen-Taylor, Airial Clark, Debi Mason, Amy Ruben, Angela Lazear, Mariah Carle  Monica Cadena–and so many more.

Original co-founders and fellow troublemakers Kwan Booth and Amy Gahran played a huge role in making Oakland Local skyrocket toward relevancy, and former board member Kevin Weston, gone too soon, deserves enormous credit for his guidance and network, as does the much-missed Dori Maynard.

Thanks to our CMC board members as well, especially Kamal Shah, Lateefah Simon, Hal Plotkin, David Cohn, Lisa Williams.

Over the six years, we would not have succeeded without our funders and advertisers, including the amazingly local and supportive Chris Hillyard at Farley’s, CJ Hirschfield at  Children’s Fairyland and funders including J-Lab, American University, The Harnisch Foundation, The California Endowment, The Renaissance Center for Innovation in Journalism, SF State/Zero Divide, The G.W. Williams Center for Journalism Innovation, The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Knight Foundation., The Fund for Investigative Journalism, and The Kapor Center for Social Impact.

Vikki Porter, Michele McLellan, Joe Michaud, Rusty and Janet Coats and the Patterson Foundation deserve big hugs for learning and support in 2011-12 that breathed new life into a tough business.

Running a daily new and community media site for Oakland has been a labor of love that has brought me into contact with so many people and taught me so much about the town. After 6 years, I feel like I’ve learned all I can, and have moved on to other projects that can help Oakland thrive.

Please check out the RFP for more information on what’s next; get in touch with Susan Mernit for questions, comments, interest (susan@oaklandlocal.com).

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About The Author

Susan Mernit is editor & publisher of Oakland Local (oaklandlocal.com) a news & community hub for Oakland, CA. A former VP at AOL & Netscape, & former! Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge, 2008-09; was a 2012 Stanford Carlos McClatchy Fellow; and is a board adviser to The Center for Health Reporting at USC, Annenberg School of Journalism. She has consulted with many non-profit organizations on strategy, product development and social media/engagement, including Salon.com, TechSoup Global, Public Radio International and the Institute for Policy Studies/Economic Hardship Reporting Project, led by Barbara Ehrenreich.

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