New owner and publisher of NEXTpittsburgh, John Rhoades, and founder and former owner Tracy Certo today announced the sale of NEXTpittsburgh, the online publication about the people advancing Pittsburgh and the innovative and cool things happening in the region. Rhoades assumed ownership of the media site on January 1.

“NEXTpittsburgh is an institution in our city,” says Rhoades, a Pittsburgh native and Polish Hill resident. ”I’ve been a reader since Tracy launched the company, and I am honored to have the chance to work with the team to lead it into its next successful chapter.”

Rhoades’ background includes both public policy and entrepreneurship. He worked in advocacy at the United Way of Southwestern PA before going into the private sector, helping launch The Beauty Shoppe, a co-working company.  After a successful round of outside investment, Rhoades transitioned out in late 2018 to begin a search for his own project. 

Certo launched NEXTpittsburgh in March 2014 as a platform to tell the stories about the people advancing the region and the innovative and cool things happening here. NEXT acts as a guide to exploring the region, from new restaurants and tech startups to events and social initiatives, and encourages readers to get more involved in their community to make Pittsburgh a better place for all.

John Rhoades, the new owner and publisher of NEXTpittsburgh, in Polish Hill where he lives. Photo by Melanie Von Trapp.

“I’ve spent nearly seven years, along with my team, growing NEXTpittsburgh in both readership and revenue and we have done well, even in turbulent times for media,” says Certo. “But I think we can do more and better and John agrees. I see John as someone fully capable of taking NEXT to the next level and ensuring the future of this publication which has become such a resource for Pittsburgh.” 

In 2020, NEXTpittsburgh had more than 2.1 million unique visitors on the site, an increase from 1.8 million the previous year.

“I am very happy to make this announcement and look forward to working with John for as long as it takes to ensure a smooth transition,” says Certo. “He’s a great guy and I think he can do great things for NEXT and for Pittsburgh.”

Rhoades says, “I was looking for a business that I could really put my heart into. It’s been a long journey, but NEXTpittsburgh feels like a perfect fit,” he says. “I’m born and raised in Pittsburgh and care deeply about this town and the people in it. I want to ensure that the great work that the team does telling the stories of our community continues. On top of that, I aim to keep growing the offerings that NEXT brings to the city.”

Rhoades has been involved with community advocacy since returning to Pittsburgh in 2007, and currently serves as co-chair of Housing & Development for the Polish Hill Civic Association as well as Treasurer of the City of Bridges Community Land Trust.

Read more about the sale in NEXTpittsburgh, including Why I sold NEXTpittsburgh by Certo and Meet the new owner and publisher.