Major Newspaper Sites Hobbled by Power Woes

A power outage at an Advance Internet hosting facility has hobbled the web sites for the company's chain of more than 30 newspapers, including many large metropolitan dailies. The Advance newspapers have switched to text-based sites to continue publishing, but are currently unable to display advertising, making the outage a potentially costly event.

Affected sites include NJ.com, Michigan Live, Cleveland.com, The Portland Oregonian and the online classifieds site BestLocalJobs.com and Best LocalAutos.com. One of the affected papers, The New Orleans Times-Picayune, is in the midst of covering the impact of Tropical Storm Cindy, which hit the New Orleans area yesterday and has left more than 240,000 local residents without power as well.

Advance Internet is owned by Advance Publications, which also owns the Conde Nast family of print magazines. Unlike the newspaper sites, many of the Conde Nast titles - including Vanity Fair, GQ and The New Yorker - are mirrored by the Akamai content distribution network and have remained online and displaying ads during the Advance Internet outage. At least one magazine hosted in Jersey City (Glamour) is also being served by Akamai today.

The power outage, which began about 5 pm EST Tuesday, affected Advance Internet's hosting operation in Jersey City's Journal Square. The local power company, PSE&G, said three underground circuits malfunctioned. "A power outage at our hosting facility continues to disrupt our service," said a message displayed across the affected sites. "We will provide news updates on this special version of the site until we can restore to normal service."