Reporting by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting found the toll lanes are developed without much public input, and without reliable knowledge of the cost.
More than 10 million people read these websites to find out about a water main break or local gang activity — the kind of stories that don’t make it into the big daily newspapers.
But the downside is, they’re not generating much money.
Business Insider reported that Patch’s parent company, AOL, poured $140 million into the venture last year, and the sites only made $20 million in revenue–leaving AOL with a loss of about $120 million.
Investors aren’t happy and media watchers are wondering if the promise of hyper-local news is viable.