You might know Joe Weasel’s face and smile from his stint as a sports and feature reporter on NBC 4, or maybe it’s his voice you recognize from his regular sports updates on CD101. Now you will identify him by a different title, founder of The Palestra, a Web site Weasel and his Partner John Olvey created in 2006. The Palestra is filled from top to bottom with original video content from a team of 134 journalism students from colleges across the country.
“I was trying to find a way to create an environment and a network that might be student-driven,” says Weasel. “We started with the idea of the site being really sports centered, but we realized we could cover a lot more.”
The Palestra has branched out since its inception to cover news, fashion, food, weather, sports and especially music from a college student’s perspective. The music section success is due in most part to the daily installments of the Gig Guide, a segment that highlights concerts across the country, which is linked to major media outlets CNN.com and People.com.
“Some of the bigger media companies have to find a way that they are going to reach a different demographic because they aren’t watching the local news,” says Weasel. “I think the way we package and create content we’re almost like the Disney Channel for college students.”
The Palestra TV show, Live at the Palestra, aired on local FOX and ABC affiliates late Friday and Saturday nights with great success. Weasel foresees the show eventually moving into other markets.
“As long as we listen to our network of reporters and keep crafting it the way it’s going, I think there’s a lot of potential to be almost a convergence between traditional and new media.”
Tune into thepalestra.com to experience it for yourself.