You’ve arrived at a blog about transforming the companies that publish newspapers. And it’s a blog with an unorthodox point of view.
Here it is: News will not save you.
Why not? Because the disruption that’s pounding newspaper companies is not about people Read the rest of this entry
Nothing is more deeply ingrained in the newspaper industry than the definition of news. It’s the foundation of what we do, the “product” we use to attract and serve consumer audiences, and the platform on which we sell most of our advertising.
Now the definition desperately needs fundamental change, as I’ll document below. If we hope to be relevant and engaging to the people in our markets, we need to start over, beginning with a fresh answer to the question, “What is news?” Read the rest of this entry
When your industry is undergoing massive disruption, getting a glimpse of the future is priceless. The more you know about where things are going, the smarter you can be about what to do right now.
For that reason, the report released earlier this month by Borrell Associates — “The Future of Legacy Media” — should be required reading for everyone responsible for the health and sustainability of any legacy media business in the United States and Canada. Read the rest of this entry
In the midst of major change, we can only make the right moves if we properly understand what’s happening.
Right now, we in the mass media are wrestling with the most massive change we’ve ever seen. But, as in the parable of the blind men and the elephant, we’re only aware of the tiny part of this change that we touch every day. Read the rest of this entry
I was surprised to hear those words come out of my mouth recently, during a strategic discussion about where our company, Morris Communications, needs to be in three to five years.
I heard myself say, “We need to realize that we’re witnessing the end of advertising as we’ve known it. Not this year, not next year, but over a period of not very many years.” Read the rest of this entry
The local media industry is in desperate need of new business models. By now, after seven or eight years of brutal shrinkage in ad revenues – in the U.S., anyway — it’s painfully obvious.
And heaven knows we’ve been looking. We’ve tried a lot of things — new digital advertising and marketing products, sales department reorgs, newsroom reorgs, different content models, new niche products and websites, pay walls and meters, just to name a few. Some are even working, at least to some extent.
But here’s a model we haven’t tried: Calling on every possible local advertising/marketing customer at least once a year. Read the rest of this entry
What’s a local media company’s No. 1 job, whether it’s a newspaper company, a TV station or a radio station? Simple: Win the biggest audience, every day. You have to win audience to win advertising dollars.
Winning the biggest audience is a clear, simple, results-based goal. In the TV and radio industries, they’re all about it, based on standardized measures of audience share.
But in the newspaper industry, for far too long now, we’ve rarely held ourselves accountable for our audience results. Read the rest of this entry
When you spend years working in a disrupted business, you often wind up with a vision problem. You tend to become so focused on trying to evolve your existing business models that you don’t see the much bigger opportunities that surround them.
We’ve seen two examples of that recently in my work at Morris Publishing Group. In both cases, we’ve widened our view, and we’re now seeing and targeting some bigger possibilities. Read the rest of this entry