Even before it was officially announced, The Daily Memphian had become an open secret within an increasingly small coterie of Memphis print journalists.
For the first time in years, high profile reporters were leaving the Commercial Appeal, not because of layoffs, which had become semi-regular events at the Gannett-owned paper.
They were just walking away: food writer Jennifer Biggs, sports columnist Geoff Calkins, popular blogger Chris Herrington. Others followed; the mystery of their departures a source of growing speculation.
They left for a new web-based newsroom now being built from scratch by a nonprofit funded by philanthropists, many of them anonymous. The Daily Memphian was the result of wealthy citizens' frustration over the gutting of local news.
Eric Barnes, who hosts WKNO-TV's public interest show Behind the Headlines, runs this new nonprofit venture. In this interview, he talks about what the website could become.