One of the big deals about the new MSN portal (see my overview) is that it supplies the type of local news that one historically has gotten from local newspapers. With newspapers on the decline, and more people turning to the web for information, this makes plenty of sense. Today, Microsoft announced a partnership with NBC Local and Hearst Television to supply local information from MSN users in several major metropolitan areas in the US. Here's the word from Microsoft:

Local information is booming – with 72% of people regularly consuming local news, 76% of people checking weather, and 86% of people searching for a map or driving directions. Video usage online is also skyrocketing in popularity, with 62% of online adults watching a video online and 35% have viewed a television show or movie online. Both local and video also present a tremendous growth opportunity for advertisers, with local online advertising projected to grow to $10 billion by 2013.

Today, we’re happy to announce two partnerships that will allow us to combine the power of both video and local information, and increase the amount of local information we can offer our customers. Through partnerships with NBC Local Media and Hearst Television, we will receive around 3,000 news video clips a week across 36 local media markets. While anyone in the US can receive comprehensive local information from MSN Local Edition, we’re pleased to partner with these industry leaders to offer more compelling and relevant local video clips to customers in 35 markets. The new video content will be available in January 2010.

NBC Local Media will offer local video clips from their “Locals Only” websites in Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco/Bay Area, CA; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Washington, DC; Connecticut, and Miami, FL.                           

Hearst Television will offer local video clips in Albuquerque, NM; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Burlington, VT / Plattsburgh, NY; Cincinnati, OH; Des Moines, IA; Ft. Smith, AR; Greensboro / Winston-Salem, NC; Greenville, SC; Honolulu, HI; Jackson, MS; Kansas City, MO; Lancaster / Harrisburg, PA; Louisville, KY; Manchester, NH; Milwaukee, WI; Monterey, CA; New Orleans, LA; Oklahoma City, OK; Omaha, NE; Orlando, FLA; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, ME; Sacramento, CA; and West Palm Beach, FLA.