MASON CITY — Former KIMT-TV News Anchor Dave Hansen and former Mason City Globe Gazette Editor Joe Buttweiler have joined NorthIowaToday.com as contributors.
The “alternative news” website went online in September as a new marketing strategy of Internet Marketing Professionals of Iowa, Inc., which is owned by Matt Marquardt. Marquardt is a former Globe Gazette website administrator and has been operating his company since 2005. NorthIowaToday.com is a “micro-local” news source with an edge, focusing on news and information affecting residents of the Mason City area.
“I’m elated that Dave and Joe have agreed to help out with this new and exciting venture,” Marquardt said. “Dave and Joe are the type of talented individuals I want on my team. Our hope is to make NorthIowaToday.com the area’s number one site for citizen journalists to share what they feel is important, entertaining or remarkable in the Mason City area.”
“While other North Iowa media focus on much larger geographical areas,” Marquardt said, “our website is micro-local, similar to sites popping up nationwide like AOL’s Patch sites, which focus on specific communities.”
Marquardt said he hopes to draw on Buttweiler’s and Hansen’s many years of journalistic expertise and their relationships with people in the Mason City area.
“I’m looking forward to helping Matt and NorthIowaToday.com continue to improve the reporting on issues that matter to Mason City area residents,” Buttweiler said. “I share Matt’s vision of focusing the site on a younger audience than traditional media in the area, on putting more of a focus on people than institutions and officials, and being more edgy yet civil. And if we can inject a little humor and/or entertainment along the way when appropriate, so much the better.”
“I believe there are plenty of local human interest and in-depth stories that are either never told or fully explored, our mission will be to uncover those issues and give them the attention they deserve,” said Hansen.
Hansen left KIMT in early October after opting not to seek an extension of his contract. Buttweiler’s position at the Globe Gazette was eliminated about the same time.
“After a short hiatus from public journalism I’m eager to help with this exciting new venture. It has great potential,” Buttweiler said.
The site’s audience has grown steadily since launch, Marquardt said, reaching over 1000 page views and 400 visitors per day at the time this article was written.
It is an economical advertising option for start-up businesses and others that are inching their way up from the recession and cannot afford space or time in or on other media, Marquardt said. To inquire about advertising, call 515-987-1144.
He encourages residents of Mason City and North Iowa to make NorthIowaToday.com their home page and to check back often. “There’s always fresh news, police items, and interesting perspectives on the site — often more than you’ll find on other local websites,” he said. “We have a strong Facebook following as well. Social media is a key to our success.”||