250News to close Sept. 30

A fixture in Prince George media is about to go offline.

After 12 years in the business, 250News will cease operations at the end of this month, co-founder Elaine Macdonald-Meisner said Friday.

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Since the loss of her husband and long-time radio personality Ben Meisner 2 1/2 years ago, "it just hasn’t been the same," she said in a statement.

“250News is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation and requires an incredible amount of energy and time," she added. "Co-founding 250News with Ben in 2005 will always stand out as a key highlight of my life but the time has come for a change. After some intense soul-searching, this summer I have come to the conclusion the best option for me was to close 250News.” 

Originally called Opinion250, it was the first local online-only news and opinion outlet. It quickly developed a strong following, particularly among those who listened to Meisner during his years as host of a morning talk radio show.

In many ways, the site followed a similar formula, and became known as much for the conversations posted below the stories as for the stories themselves. 

That said, the website broke some major news. 

Among them was the discovery from the city's tax sale roll that city councillor Cameron Stolz had not paid property taxes for three years. The revelation effectively ended his political career. 

Then-mayor Sherri Green was so upset with 250's reporting on her choice for a confidential secretary that she refused to give it interviews, although she still answered questions from Macdonald-Meisner during scrums with local media.

Reached Friday, Macdonald-Meisner was reluctant to provide further comment other than to say she doesn't know what her next step will be other than "hopefully to get some sleep, maybe take some time to walk my dog."

"My initial thought is just to have some time for Elaine," she later added.

The site is not closing down due to a lack of audience. During the first eight months of this year, it drew 14.4 million page-views spread among 3.8 million visitors, according to Macdonald-Meisner. 

"Not too bad for an enterprise that many thought wouldn’t last six months,” she said in the statement. 

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