Chicago web publishers launch Independent advertising network

Al Shaw

Catalyst Chicago and The Chicago Reporter has joined a new advertising network of 15 local websites funded with a $50,000 start-up grant from the Chicago Community Trust. 

The new venture, called the Chicago Independent Ad Network,  will help independent news outlets like the Reporter and Catalyst become more sustainable through advertising income.

The network, which amasses a combined total of 1.1 million impressions each month, will pool together all of the sites audiences to attract targeted advertisers. And that ultimately means more support  for independent service-minded journalism. 

The collective of websites also include  Beachwood Reporter, Center Square Journal, Chicago News Cooperative, Community Media Workshop, Edgeville BuzzEvanston Now, Gapers Block, The Local Tourist, Mindful Metropolis, Neighborhood Parents Network, Reel ChicagoRoscoe View Journal and Windy Citizen.

On Monday, October 17, the network will debut with a brief online survey. Readers who take the survey will be entered into the drawing for a free iPad.

Beginning November 1, block ads from select advertisers will go live in the 300 by 250 px box on the home and internal pages of all the network members websites. The Reporter and Catalyst will continue to sell its own, banner and box ads on its sites. 

Businesses interested in advertising through the network can contact Kathy Chapman at (773) 966-2720 or

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