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Online Pub Bmore Appears on Board of Estimates Agenda

January 15, 2010

Correction: According to the Baltimore City Comptroller’s Office, the $10,000 one-year city contract with “Issue Media Group – Bmore,” which we reported was awarded yesterday by the Board of Estimates, was in fact withdrawn from the board’s agenda prior to the meeting. No further information about the contract—listed on page 60 of the board’s agenda for Jan. 13—was available from the Comptroller’s Office, which referred questions to the agency that sought the contract, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). We are awaiting explanation about the origin and fate of the proposed contract from DHCD spokeswoman Cheron Porter. In the meantime, City Paper apologizes to Bmore and its publisher, Tracy Gosson, for the error. The headline of this post has been changed to avoid disseminating inaccurate information.

The online publication Bmore, which former Live Baltimore Executive Director Tracy Gosson started up last summer on behalf of Detroit-based Issue Media Group, was awarded $10,000 in City of Baltimore funds at this morning’s Board of Estimates meeting, according to the board’s agenda.

The money will cover the city’s one-year contract with Bmore “to provide an innovative and comprehensive weekly, on-line magazine and website that will focus on all that is new and progressive in Baltimore and the surrounding region,” the agenda explains. “Bmore,” it continues, “will electronically provide the City with monthly measurements of audience, readership, top stories/issues, etc. The local editorial team of Bmore will write the content.”

A taste of what Baltimore City taxpayers are getting for their Bmore bucks is found in its latest article, written by Nicole Jovel, who reports that Baltimore is a great location because there is so much to do nearby—in Pennsylvania, New York, Western Maryland, Annapolis, and D.C.

So, maybe Bmore’s not completely local, content-wise. Nor writer-wise—Jovel, whose Bmore profile explains that she “lived in the Baltimore area for nine years,” is spokeswoman for the Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown, where she also writes for Hagerstown magazine. “No,” says Jovel, reached by phone at the hospital, “I don’t live in Baltimore. That’s true.”

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