Newport Buzz Birthday 2011

Newport Buzz Turns 13: A Look Back at the Birth and Growth of Newport Buzz

Thirteen years ago today, in 2011, Newport Buzz was born!

Does starting this site back then make me the smartest guy in the room or the dumbest dude you’ve ever met? I don’t know, but here’s the story of how Newport Buzz came to be.

In January 2011, I was living in New York City and working as a producer. I had recently been laid off from Hearst Corporation, where I mostly worked as an entertainment producer in New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver, and San Francisco.

Life was good, but then that job disappeared.

A good friend suggested I start working as a producer on TV commercials, mainly for banks and pharmaceutical companies, though I had some cool clients too. I also helped produce an award-winning documentary about the impact of NYC subway suicides on the motormen.

Anyway, I digress.

In late January 2011, I came home to Newport for a weekend. When I went out for dinner, I tried to find out what was happening in Newport that evening on my phone. Annnnnnddddd… THERE WAS NOTHING ONLINE. ZERO!

No online media in Newport? I couldn’t believe it because I had relied on online info in New York City for years.

So after dinner, I went back to my parents’ house, crawled into my childhood bed, and just stared at the ceiling all night. I didn’t sleep a wink. Then it hit me: I’d move home to create Newport’s first online media company.

As luck would have it, my ridiculously overpriced junior one-bedroom, 6th-floor walk-up (98 stairs, I counted) on 14th Street in Union Square was up for lease renewal at the end of February. So, I told my management company I wasn’t renewing and moved home, excited about my new venture.

Only one problem: I didn’t know how to build a website. But my friend Bob Edenbach, who lives in Tokyo, did. So I basically begged Bob to build the site until he agreed.

For a guy who knew nothing about building websites or much else, I was a complete pain in Bob’s ass. (Thank you, Bobby! I can never repay your kindness.)

While this was going on, Alex Sumberg, another childhood friend, wanted to help. The only problem was that Alex lived in Hawaii. But he had great ideas, so he was on board to help as well.

So we built it. We created a vision, a media plan— you name it, we faked it!

When it was time to officially launch the company, I brought Lady Gaga’s DJ Lady Starlight and my friends Hank and Cupcakes from NYC, and Newport’s own Skinny Millionaires to play at our launch party at Dockside.


Lady Starlight


I was off and running. I learned that one smart person could outmaneuver a staff of 30 in the legacy dinosaur old-school media companies.

The truth is, if the Newport Daily News had been online at the time, I would have never attempted to create Newport Buzz. But they weren’t, and they got into the game too late. And, well, you can see where they are today.

When I broke the story about Newport’s Louise White winning the Powerball 13 hours before any other media company, the dinosaurs were mad. Whatever, I won, they lost.

Some weird things have happened along the way.

There was an amazing new band from Canada called Walk off the Earth. When I posted their song on the Newport Buzz Facebook page, it went viral, and they became super famous. The video got around 60 million views on our FB page. They were so happy they let me release all their new songs. But their big bad record label wasn’t impressed, so they had Facebook rip down my page for a month and threatened to sue me. We worked it out, so all is good now.

Then there was the time Facebook labeled a Newport Buzz post as the FIRST fake news post on the internet. Here’s what happened: there’s a news site called Daily Kos that allows anyone to repurpose their content with credit. So I used one of their posts about Irish Slaves that apparently wasn’t true. Even though Daily Kos had that post up for years, when I shared it, Facebook came after me with a vengeance. Now I own the mantle of the first media site flagged for fake news.

Don’t believe me?

Check it out – The Guardian.

Even the Harvard Journalism School wrote about it – Nieman Lab.

And then there was the time I dared to write the SAME article as every media organization in New England about the Black Ships Festival’s dispute with the City of Newport. The only problem was that my father, Harry Winthrop, was Mayor of Newport, and Spencer Viner from the Black Ships Festival didn’t like it when my father wanted to look at the Festival’s books to see how he spent the City of Newport’s money.

Are you keeping up? I wrote the SAME article as everyone else, but that clown Spencer Viner and the Black Ships Festival losers sued me in FEDERAL COURT for literally writing the name “Black Ships.” Spencer knew he had no case; he just wanted to take a shot at my father and hoped to cost me some money. But guess what? The big, bad ACLU stepped in to defend me, and by the end of the day, Spencer Viner and his minions folded like cheap suits, puked all over themselves, and ran to Federal Court to pull the lawsuit before they got in trouble for filing a frivolous case.

Here’s my reaction:


View this post on Instagram


Breaking News!!! I won the lawsuit!!! #newportbuzz #victory #newportri #spencergate2018 #aclu

A post shared by Christian Winthrop (@newportbuzz) on


Along the way, some good things happened too. We teamed up with the Preservation Society to throw Heather Abbott’s coming home party at Rosecliff after she lost her leg in the Boston Marathon Bombing. We’ve raised over $250,000 for local charities, childhood cancer patients, families who lost homes to fires, hurricane relief, scholarship funds, field trips, Christmas wishes, and more.

And we’ve even found a few missing dogs and cats here and there! None of this would have been possible without you!

It’s never a dull moment here at Newport Buzz.

Oh did I mention that somehow I become an international COVID cooking star during lockdown?

The most recent biggest contributor to the success of Newport Buzz, and this can’t be overstated, was when Scarflet Albrecht joined the team in 2021. We’ve been on a rocketship ride ever since. Scarlet organized the business, helped focus me, and has become the chief creative force behind our brand. In all honesty, we wouldn’t be anywhere close to where we are today without her patience, her guidance, and her all around drive to make our advertising partners and clients number one. She works tirelessly every day to enhance our clients’ businesses, increase their visibility, and ensure their success. For her, that’s what it’s all about. Without her invaluable contributions, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Scarlet Albrecht Newport Buzz
Ms. Scarlet

Through it all, this platform has led me to meet amazing people: rock stars, race car drivers, movie stars, TV stars, pro athletes, supermodels, and even royalty.

But the number one thing I treasure the most is that I get to speak with you every day. Without you, there’d be nothing. Without you, I’d be lost.

So thank you, to all my readers, from the bottom of my heart. You help me get out of my comfort zone, push me to be better, and make me want to be better. You make all the silly internet troll attacks worth it. You really do!

And thank you to my family, my friends, my amazing advertisers, and partners who have trusted me, believed in me, and allowed me to just be me. I really couldn’t do this without you!!!!

So here’s to 13 more years! (I mean, what else am I going to do?)

I’m far from perfect, but I do my best every day, and that’s all I can do.

All my best,

Christian Winthrop

P.S. – I’ve also managed to create the largest and most engaged audience in all of Newport County. We reached 25 million people in each of the last two years—more than all the other local media companies combined by miles and miles. So there’s that too!



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