Sheepshead Bites Joins BKLYNER

Dear friends and neighbors,

As we welcome 2017, we will be starting a new phase of local news by merging Sheepshead Bites and our other neighborhood news sites into one, large, Brooklyn-wide site — BKLYNER.com — under the stewardship of Donny Levit on the editorial and Dina Rabiner on the business side.

Over the last 5-8 years, we’ve published on average about 4 stories each weekday in each neighborhood, 48,787 neighborhood stories in all, of which 12,814 have been on Sheepshead Bites.

We’ve held police accountable in Bensonhurst, and kept the spotlight on slumlords in Flatbush. We’ve raised money for food pantries and given voice to our Muslim neighbors. We fought for and got public spaces and street lights. We’ve gone to tons of meetings where we were the only reporters present. We’ve even won awards. Perhaps most of all, we’ve been a cheerleader for so many local people and small businesses like us.

As you know, Brooklyn is undergoing massive development, without a coherent plan, and without the watchdogs that city media used to provide. At BKLYNER, we are committed to reporting on the stories about the environment, housing, and development, while keeping you informed on the neighborhoods we know you care about. It will still be reporting from the neighborhoods we know, but these stories will have broader reach and greater impact.

We think this model fits the changing nature of Brooklyn, and we hope you’ll come along, and continue to support us. Brooklyn is a patchwork of neighborhoods that are more and more interconnected as folks continue to move and explore the borough. BKLYNER will continue reporting on local news and maybe introduce you to a new area, event or even a restaurant or two.

As a local business, we depend on support from everyone, so please do keep sending tips, and pitches and concerns.

If you only want to receive your neighborhood news you can subscribe to the newsletters and the Facebook pages, and @bklyner on Twitter. If you are already subscribed to your neighborhood news, you don’t need to do anything.

If over the years the work we’ve done has mattered to you – become a member of BKLYNER. We welcome your support!

We look forward to serving you all at BKLYNER.com.

Best,
Liena

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Comments

  1. I follow Bklyner and I get the “borough-wide re-branding angle,” I really do. But “neighborhood identity” is also a key component of the borough, especially for those of us– like in Sheepshead– who do NOT live in the trendy and expensive areas that most of your sister sites focus on. Would be wonderful to allow the website to STILL exist and simply re-direct to something like Bklyner.com/sheepsheadbites, or whatever. I realize this is a done deal, but perhaps some reconsideration because of the reasoned thoughts of a lifetime, multiple-hits, daily reader of Sheepsheadbites might matter to you… albeit one who remains anonymous for a number of reasons.

  2. Andy – thank you. Most Brooklyners don’t live in the trendy and expensive areas, us included. You will be able to follow just the neighborhood news and we will try hard to keep the feel of each neighborhood, especially for Sheepshead, Bensonhurst and Ditmas Park, which are our heart. It will take a little while to migrate the sites, and get everything smoothed out, and I hope you’ll give us a chance. Your thoughts and feelings matter to us, and we are truly grateful for your support over the years.

  3. I take exception to the fact that you’re claiming to have run this site for 5-8 years. Bullshit. You bought this site. You ran the soul and spirit of this site into the trash. Now that you’ve sucked everything you desired out of the site it’s been soldout yet again, to another nameless brand that claims it speaks for Brooklyn? Bullshit.

    BKLYNER? Who writes their name in all caps like that. Trash. I’ve seen that site. It’s trash and your content is garbage. I’d rather read reddit, I doubt i’ll ever see anything of value pertaining to my community on BKLYNER. Just another portal to pull people in to be advertised to.

    Good Riddance Sheepshead Bites, you really died 2 years ago. At least now your corpse will be put down.

  4. How do you REALLY feel, Arthur? 🙂 But seriously, forgetting who owns what, there definitely HAS been a serious dilution of “localized” neighborhood focus. Fully agreed. And my hopes are that as Corner Media obviously consolidates its assets. there can then be a re-focusing on the community. Maybe I am a pollyanna to expect this, I STILL miss the transit column, but sometimes hope is all you can have when there is no alternative Sheepshead blog site.

  5. History tells us that’s not gonna happen. Look what happened to Radio after 1996? All the best shows nowadays are independed podcasts/vidcasts/youtube content creators. Local news is dead.

  6. You can also look at what happened to the Bay News after they became part of Courier Life and more recently Brooklyn Daily. It used to be exclusively Bay News as the name states. When it became part of Courier Life it was really a southern Brooklyn newspaper. But now as Brooklyn Daily, only about a fifth of the articles have anything to do with Sheeposhead Bay and many are about Fort Greene and North Brooklyn articles. That is what we have to look forward to.

    Gone are the days of excellent reporting like the articles about the Maxim Gelman shooting spree. Sheepsheadbites provided up to the minute coverage, better than the TV. That is the type of reporting Sheepsheadbites readers expected, not news we can easily get elsewhere.

  7. What about the history archive of Sheepsheadbites? Will all that be lost? Readers used to frequently go back to old articles to comment years later after they were originally written. One article that comes to mind was Has MetroCard Stolen Your Money?

    It would be a shame to lose the Commute series that I wrote for Sheepsheadbites for five years which I did not even get paid for. Do you know a way how I could save those webpages?

    I hope you have noticed that since you took over, rarely does anyone comment anymore on your articles. You are lucky to get t0 comments. Ninety percent of your articles do not receive any comments at all.

    When Ned owned the site, each article had ten to fifteen comments on the average, with controversial articles having as many or more than 300 comments. That ought to tell you something. I am sure the number of page views is no more than a tenth of what it once was and that is probably the real reason why you are ending this site.

  8. I am disappointed, but hardly surprised,.

    I suppose this saves some money. But by so doing you have destroyed the very reason that Sheepshead Bites was started, to provide news and information to a small area that was relevant to its readers. Those who read Sheepshead Bites had a connection with other readers, which often translated into 3D relationships The joining of Sheepshead Bites and other small blogs into one corporate entity was.the beginning of a process which I knew would end with its eventual disappearance. A void has been created, and the Internet is a place where vacuums are filled. Someone will start a local blog, perhaps this time it will; be a lasting effort.

    Bob Guskind must be rolling in his grave at the moment.

  9. I’ve been trying to come up with a more eloquent way of saying this, but this sucks. As a person who dedicated a couple of years of my life to SheepsheadBites, to see it disappear like this hurts.

    Ned started Sheepshead Bites before I met him. I was working to make my corner of Sheepshead Bay better long before he met me. I found SheepsheadBites when looking to promote Grillin’ On the Bay, NYC’s original barbecue contest. I started reading and found another kindred spirit in Ned and Ray and the readers of SheepsheadBites. Ya see back then, the readers were commentators and drove SheepsheadBites as much as Ned did. Ned and Ray wrote about MY neighborhood and the news that affected me. They wrote serious stories with a sense of humor. They worked to build the community. I was hooked.

    Ned and I set up an advertising deal and the rest is history. I started writing The Bite and some other small articles. Ned and I started planning community events. Some were huge, like the incredible neighborhood celebration, A Taste of Sheepshead Bay, and SheepsheadBites Night at Cyclone Stadium. Others small. Who remembers our “We survived the Earthquake” party at Wheeler’s? Or the party for the screening of Russian Dolls? Somehow, I joined the staff and spent two years working day in and day out on SheepsheadBites.

    Ned, was/is an incredible reporter and had a nose for news in the neighborhood. He seemed to know everyone in the neighborhood. If he didn’t know them, I did. Or Erica Sherman did. One of Ned’s greatest strengths was he knew when to bring in others, adding their experiences and opinions to create mosaic of SheepsheadBites. His work, my work, Erica’s work reflected Sheepshead Bay.

    I’m 20 years older than Ned, Erica is somewhere in the middle.My concerns as a 50 year old, were not neccessarilary Ned’s concerns as a 30 year old. But Ned, wise beyond his years, made sure all our concerns were expressed at SheepsheadBites. I’m a parent, Ned’s not. Alan brought a whole new perspective to the mix with his columns on transportation. Joe’s columns on legal issues added another dimension.

    Ned, Erica and I were a great team. While SheepsheadBites’s offices were underwater after hurricane Sandy, my dining room table became the site as I wrote some of the articles and bulletins. When the Maxim Gelman shooting spree occurred, Ned was in the office and I was on the streets. We had videos that named the shooter, long before the police announced it. Ned chose not to run them, until we had official word.

    Working on SheepsheadBites was hard and it was rewarding. I lasted a bit over 2 years before I burnt out and needed to leave. I’ve never talked about this, but a major health scare and the death of both my parents, changed my perspective on working on SheepsheadBites. I left to pursue my dreams of opening my own restaurant. At that point, Ned who had been working on SheepsheadBites for over 6 years was also showing signs of burning out. This is my opinion only, I’m sure Ned will tell you something else.

    But change was in the air. SheepsheadBites, and Bensonhurst Bean needed a new direction for them both to grow to their potential. Enter Corner Media.

    The sale of SheepsheadBites happened about 6 months after I left the site. I wasn’t surprised but I was a bit stunned. I didn’t trust SheepsheadBites in anyone else’s hands. But I could see that this was good for Ned. One way or another he needed to release the reigns. (Again, my opinion only) People don’t realize that running SheepsheadBites was a 24 hour, 7 day a week, 365 day a week job for Ned. Imagine not being able to sit in a restaurant or shop in the grocery store without being stopped and told about some story that needed to be exposed. It happened to me on a daily basis, and still happens to this day. It happened to Ned ALL the time.

    Corner Media put a lot on the line for the purchase. They wanted SheepsheadBites. I know many details that I will not divulge, but Leina, forgive me if I have the name wrong, Corner Media’s website has not built its website yet, was committed to keeping SheepsheadBites, SheepsheadBites.

    Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The logo changed to fit in the with the corporate identity. The layout changed. The events and parties disappeared or were destroyed. A Taste of Sheepshead Bay didn’t focus on restaurants in the Bay. I could accept that, but then, the local stories began to disappear. The commentators disappeared. The heart of SheepsheadBites was gone. It was never Ned. He just sat in the crow’s nest and pointed the direction. It was never me. It was never Erica. It was the readers and the commentators.

    IMNHO, SheepsheadBites was being run by three people who lived in the neighborhood. Two were born and raised here. Corner Media’s group were all outsiders. None lived here. None shared our concerns. SheepsheadBites had nowhere to go but down.

    With BKLYNER.com, SheepsheadBites has gone the way of the Bay News. One source for Brooklyn news and the articles following the money. There’s more money to be made in Park Slope, so expect the stories to be there. It’s funny. all the online news sites claim to be blazing new paths, but they all are following the print editions. Wake up folks. The print editions of local news died because they didn’t stay local. The online news sites will have the same fate unless they wake up.

    I wish BKLYNER.com luck. From what i’ve seen so far. it’s not a replacement for Sheepsheadbites. It’s the Bay News on line. Step up your game BKLYNER.com, and you’ll be great.

    Remember your roots, all tho, they are not yours. You are a ditmas park blog. SheepsheadBites was the dominant blog in Brooklyn. I hope you keep it that way.

  10. Changes are inevitable. This is the world we live in. Many people wish for bigger and “better” things, or at least different things. I hope it all works out for the people involved.

  11. Everyone involved with this site – including Robert, Ray, Erica, Allan, and the many more who would contribute a piece here and there – accomplished something incredible over those years. Having discovered Sheepshead Bites early in college, it helped shape the way I think about Sheepshead Bay specifically, but neighborhoods, communities, and local issues in general. From the conversations I’ve had with my neighbors and my friends, I know I was not the only one.

    I truly hope someone else steps in to fill the void. I know that I would gladly step in to support and contribute resources to anyone with the time to take on such a project. Something I would have had no interest in, had I not stumbled upon a small local news blog years ago. That said, I think most people will agree and the last couple of editors have proven, Ned left some pretty damn big shoes to fill. Enjoy the lovefest buddy, you deserve it!

  12. Bob, thanks for remembering my contributions. Please read all my comments in the “You won’t believe your eyes” article. I don’t feel like repeating them again.

  13. You do not know what you are talking about meathead. Go back to driving your cab. Hopefully, you will be held up and we won’t have to read about such of nonsense anymore. Unless you are shot dead, then Brooklyner will cover it, LOL!

  14. I imagine Ned is too professional and classy, as well as too busy with his odd new enterprise, to comment… especially since, obviously, the sale of SB benefited him and he would not want to bite the hand that fed him (at least on a public Comments Board). No judgements, just common sense and business reality.
    That said: a major shout-out to Ned Berke, a man whose contributions to, connections with, and caring of this community made Sheepshead Bites all that it was… and, hopefully, what it can be again. #StillMissed

  15. Alot of you know me from my photos being on the site for many years
    under Neds running. the site honestly has changed overthe years and
    after ned leaving it lost its local feel. some news but nothing as fast
    as or truly local, we in the bay can tell its being run by others. and
    we can manage. i have worked with spoken to the new people and they are
    nice people…

    i am sad that we are again losing our little local name, but hope the quality only goes up.

  16. You don’t know what you’re talking about fatso. Go drive your ?. If you get held up, at least we won’t have to read about such minor nonsense.

  17. I hadn’t seen that article before. It’s been a long time since I’ve read the site on a regular basis.

  18. I have to say I happen to agree, maybe not so harshly but since Ned’s absence the “local” feeling of this place has faded away. Now SHB is like an old, used and abused tattered woman changing hands. I can honestly say I used to religiously read this site back in the day, now I barely frequent it. The content is poor and tasteless and the feeling it once had has all but gone.

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