Michael Shapiro: Founder and CEO of hyper-local news network TAPinto.net

Brian Brodeur catches up with Mike Shapiro in Coral Springs, Florida to discuss all things TAPinto, a network of 80+ hyper-local news sites. Mike gives us the lowdown on TAPinto’s past, present and future – and how TAPinto serves local communities and area businesses.

Mike Bio (via LinkedIn):

Mike is passionate about enabling people to own their own local news business and achieve the American Dream, while creating a sustainable path forward for the local news industry. He believes that all people should have access to high-quality, objective local news and information, and that local news is essential for democracy to flourish.

In 2008, Mike started an all-online local news site in my old hometown of New Providence, New Jersey. Soon, residents in the neighboring towns requested he start sites in their towns. After launching several more local news sites, Shapiro left his job to focus on local news full-time.

After starting to get more and more requests from people to start local news sites in their towns, Mike had to decline as he couldn’t manage any more sites himself. So, he started thinking about how to expand yet keep the sites local – eventually having the idea of franchising local news by finding people who wanted to start TAPinto as their own business and providing them with the technology, training, support and continuing education they needed to be successful.

TAPinto took off and today, Mike has more than 85 franchised online local news sites producing award-winning journalism while achieving record-traffic and financial success, and are one of the only sustainable, scalable local journalism models in the country.