adds national and local columnists

A Romenesko reader describes the Philadelphia papers’ just-announced “New Voices” initiative as “ meets the Huffington Post,” although I see that there is at least one conservative voice in the mix of new columnists.
From: [Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News publisher] Hall, Bob
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 3:39 PM
To: All IGM [Interstate General Media] Employees; All Employees
Subject: Introducing ” The New Voices” of


I wanted you to be the very first to receive the attached news about “The New Voices” of We are very excited about this new platform and we look forward to this initiative further evolving and increasing our relationships with advertisers and readers throughout the market.

Bob Announces “The New Voices” Platform for Notable Contributors

Debut of National and Regional Leaders Will Provide Fresh Viewpoints for Readers

PHILADELPHIA (January 24) –, the most popular news web site in Philadelphia, announced today that it is launching “The New Voices” initiative, which will feature notable national and local contributors and columnists.

Covering a range of topics and viewpoints, the new columnists include: Ari Rabin-Havt, the nation’s most exciting new progressive commentator; Philadelphia’s own John Featherman with his unique and penetrating conservative viewpoints; Mark Segal, one of the region’s and nation’s most compelling gay leaders and the publisher of Philadelphia Gay News will add topical commentary in a new column entitled, Mark, uncensored; Kenny Gamble, a Philadelphia cultural and business giant; Table Matters blogger Jason Wilson; leading interior designer Carrie Leskowitz; Dr. Jill McDevitt, a nationally recognized sexologist; technology pundit Eric Smith, co-founder of Geekadelphia; activist Chris Goldstein who writes about the issues surrounding marijuana; Maria Papadakis whose videos will cover the local social scene and celebrities; and Bernie Parent, an inspiring member of the NHL Hall of Fame who writes about self-empowerment and motivation./CONTINUES

“Our goal, at is to reach across the full breadth of our region’s ideas, its people and their lives,” said Steve Alessi, Vice President, Digital Advertising and General Manager of “Relevance and reach can be overused terms, but today’s announcements reflect our desire to transform and deepen the traditional relationship between a media company and its community.”

“The columnists are compelling and will expand the debate and broaden our reach in the region,” said Lexie Norcross, Director of Interstate General Media, parent company of

In addition to these notable columnists, is announcing several strategic alliances with some of the nation’s most important organizations., National Constitution Center and will participate in “The New Voices.” is a website that monitors the speeches, television advertisements, interviews and speeches of politicians to ensure their factual accuracy. The National Constitution Center (NCC) will provide with a nonpartisan, timely analysis of Constitutional issues that have both regional and national relevance. This relationship furthers both organizations’ goals to engage the public in healthy dialogue and to foster civic engagement. uses the Internet as tool to ensure transparency in government. will also introduce Table Matters, an online magazine at the intersection of food, drink and culture, published by Drexel University’s Center for Cultural Outreach. Table Matters provides its readers with coverage on all aspects of food to inspire food lovers, while also providing fresh perspectives on dining, eating out, reading and shopping.