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Lookout Santa Cruz launches as ‘full-service, modern digital news experience’

Santa Cruz, CA – Nov. 20, 2020 — Lookout Santa Cruz ( launches today.

“We’ve promised a full-service, modern digital news experience, and today, we begin delivering it,” said Ken Doctor, CEO and founder of Lookout. “At launch, our newsroom tackles today’s most pressing issues and begins to provide the connect-the-dots perspective we’ve promised. Our community has already offered major support, as evidenced by 10 top local partners who join us in this quest to make Santa Cruz County a better, and smarter, place.”

Today, as Lookout Santa Cruz begins life, we focus immediately on what’s ahead with an exclusive and revealing, in-depth interview with Santa Cruz County Health Officer Gail Newel. We also provide a featured Lookout Guide that lets our community know what’s open and what’s closed countywide.

Lookout also delves into the many questions around school reopening and concerns about the post-fires mudslides to come, among other incisive news stories.

City Life Correspondent Wallace Baine lays out his — and the community’s — mandate for 2021 in his column, “The Here & Now.” And several Lookout Guides roll out over the next several days — fulfilling Lookout’s promise to making news and information highly useful and actionable.

In addition, Lookout debuts our “21 for 21” series, a look at the leaders who we expect will shape the year ahead.

“Our news content will grow appreciably into the new year,” said Executive Editor Chris Fusco. “We’ll be adding more staff. Readers will see more of the kinds of stores we’re debuting with, across all topics from government and business and tech to environment, education, health and food. And from South County to North County.”

Both Lookout’s community and business model are well supported by our launch partners.

We thank our founding launch Marketing Partners, including UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County Bank, Cabrillo College, K&D Landscaping and the Museum of Art and History. Each makes full use of our unique Promoted Content platform to tell their own stories and share thought leadership, clearly delineated from editorial content, on Lookout. These Marketing Partners make possible free access to all Lookout content into the new year, allowing community members to see it whole, engage deeply with it, and understand the individual and community benefits of membership.

At launch, Lookout will also debut its innovative membership program.

We’re joining with five of the community’s most impactful non-profit organizations to blow full life into the phrase, “Read, lead and help others.”

“For each and every membership, Lookout Santa Cruz will provide 10% of proceeds to our founding Civic Partners. This directly and meaningfully connects support of local news with community betterment, a core Lookout principle. We thank Coastal Watershed Council, Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, DigitalNEST, Jacob’s Heart and Second Harvest Food Bank for their support of Lookout and we look forward to supporting them in their vital community-building work,” said Chief Revenue Officer Jed Williams.

“We’ve aligned our work with our Marketing and Civic Partners so seamlessly,” said Alex Sibille, who works directly with all of them as Lookout’s Director of Community Partnerships.

At launch, Lookout also announces three additional community-supporting initiatives:

  • Civic betterment is at the core of Lookout. We’ve worked with more than 40 community non-profits to showcase their work, fundraising and leadership. Each has its own page on Lookout, produced free and as a community service.
  • We believe student access to trustworthy news is essential to the 2020s democracy. Through the generosity of donors, we’re able to provide complete access for all Cabrillo College students into the next year.
  • Lookout Listens! Is one of Lookout’s many ways to stay connected with the communities we serve. These small-group listening sessions, hosted virtually or in-person distanced, connect community members with our staff to talk coverage, story ideas and the challenges of the next year. We’re including arts, business, civic and many other groups in these sessions.

About Lookout Local Inc.

Lookout Local is a for-profit, public benefit company. Its mission, built into its incorporation, is crystal clear: To serve the news and information needs of its communities. Lookout Santa Cruz is the first of Lookout Local’s emerging network of local sites, with the intention of repopulating news deserts with a higher standard of journalism and a commitment to community betterment. We deeply appreciate the support of our supporters, who include the Knight Foundation, Google News Innovation Challenge, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Lookout has also been made possible through the local generosity of Meadow Fund, and individuals, including Carol and Doug Melamed, Rowland and Pat Rebele, and Linda Peterson.

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Press inquiries:

Ken Doctor


Lookout Local Inc.