The publisher of a new online newsletter is causing some confusion.
Bonita resident Jude Reichenthal recently sent emails supportive of a Bonita Springs mayoral candidate from email addresses that led some to believe they were affiliated with the Daily News.
Reichenthal said he purchased the domain name bonitanews.net in December with the intention of starting an “Ezine” focused on Bonita Springs politics and events. Last weekend, he sent emails from firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com supporting mayoral candidate Dave Grothaus to about 20,000 addresses on a list he’s compiled, he said.
That caused confusion to some recipients of the emails, who questioned if they were coming from the Daily News or its parent company E.W. Scripps, said Phil Lewis, the newspaper's executive editor and vice president. Lewis said he started getting questions about the emails on Monday.
"They wondered if they were related to the Naples Daily News or naplesnews.com or bonitanews.com, which have been our long-established news brands," Lewis said. "We tell them it is not coming from our newsroom, from our news media company."
The E.W. Scripps Co. owns the domain names naplesnews.com, bonitanews.com and naplesnews.net. Reichenthal owns bonitanews.net, according to the Internet service provider Network Solutions.
"Person(s) responsible for these misleading email messages will be hearing from our attorneys very soon," Daily News President and Publisher Dave Neill said in a prepared statement.
Reichenthal said the email he sent on Jan. 22 from firstname.lastname@example.org — an Internet domain he doesn't own — "came out in error" because he's been working hard and he associates bonitanews.com with naplesnews.com. However, he said he had "no intention whatsoever to confuse anyone" that his Ezine is associated with the Daily News.
The subject line in a follow-up email he sent from email@example.com specifically mentions a "New Ezine." So far he's sent out five or six emails associated with the Ezine, Reichenthal said.
"I've tried to make it as easy as I could that we are not the Naples Daily News." Reichenthal said. "We are a new Ezine of Bonita matters. If we're new, we couldn't be the Naples Daily News."
When reached for comment Wednesday, Grothaus said he wasn't aware of the emails.
"Without seeing them I would hesitate to comment on them," he said. "Jude is not part of my campaign team."
Reichenthal said he launched the project without Grothaus' knowledge. He said he's wanted to launch an Ezine for "some time" because he doesn't believe the Daily News or the News-Press do an adequate job covering the Bonita Springs community.