Presidio Sports has a new teammate in Noozhawk

By Michelle Nelson, Noozhawk Editor

In a unique new collaboration, Presidio Sports and Noozhawk are teaming up to share news and sports articles for their online audiences. The two startup companies have quickly developed a loyal readership and the alliance is intended to expand the range of material on each Web site.

Noozhawk was launched in October 2007 to provide Santa Barbara and Goleta with high-quality professional news, exclusively online. Eleven months later, Presidio Sports applied the concept to athletics. Both companies aim to take advantage of rapidly shifting cultural and technological trends, as well as the disarray among traditional newspapers — nationally and locally.Founded by Santa Barbara natives John Dvorak and Blake Dorfman, Presidio Sports comprehensively covers local and college sports, as well as the South Coast’s extensive recreational athletics. Dvorak, a graduate of Cate School and New York University, and Dorfman, a graduate of Laguna Blanca School andUSC, spent about two years at the Santa Barbara News-Press before leaving to create their own company. Among their regular contributors are well-known longtime Santa Barbara sportswriters Dave Loveton, Chic Perkins, Barry Punzal, Dan Shiells, Mike Traphagen and John Zant.

Noozhawk was founded by newspaper veteran Bill Macfadyen, who was news editor at the News-Press for 15 years before resigning in August 2001 to start the South Coast Beacon. In its first year of eligibility, the Beacon earned the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s General Excellence Award — an unprecedented achievement for a startup — but the weekly newspaper went out of business in 2005.

In July 2006, Macfadyen began developing plans for an online-only news engine, lined up advertising backers, assembled a seasoned news team and went live a little more than a year later. In addition to respected reporters Rob Kuznia and Sonia Fernandez and editor Michelle Nelson, Noozhawk’s regular contributors include highly regarded journalists like Leslie Dinaberg, Gerald Carpenter, Chuck Graham, Margo Kline, Karen Telleen-Lawton and retired Washington Post political writer Lou Cannon. Noozhawk has earned Entrepreneur of the Year honors from the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Barbara Technology & Industry Association.

Both Presidio Sports and Noozhawk supplement their in-depth professional reporting by inviting the community to contribute its own content. The result is a pioneering experiment in New Media that is being closely watched by journalism professionals across the nation.

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