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A HOME OF ITS OWN DocumentCloud platform moves to Temple University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 8
Move Over, .com, .org and .net
CHANGING THE NARRATIVE
As the domain name system expands, what opportunities await for businesses and consumers? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 30
NewsMavens features content curated entirely by female journalists . . . . . . p. 9
‘SMALL NEWS IS BIG NEWS’ Examiner Media celebrates a decade in the newspaper business . . . . . . . . . . . p. 12
2017 Publisher of the Year Jeff Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 34
What’s In, What’s Out
Departments CRITICAL THINKING Should there be more ad restrictions for media companies during an election? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 15
DATA PAGE News across social media platforms, use of traditional news platforms by social media news users, most popular apps for millennials, how U.S. adults are spending time on mobile apps . . . . p. 18
Taking a look at the news media a year after President Trump’s presidential victory, and where it’s heading to next . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 40
Minnesota newspapers run blank front pages to promote importance of local journalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 13
PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER
The Membership Puzzle Project explores the path to sustainable journalism p. 14
In search of a healthy future, alt weeklies experiment with stories and revenue strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 46
New hires, promotions and relocations across the industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 51
PHOTO OF THE MONTH Steph Chambers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 16
Cover photo by Russell Yip/San Francisco Chronicle
Creating revenue streams through innovative thinking and management of operational resources . . . . . . . . . . . p. 26
SHOPTALK Major brands blacklisting media is detrimental to publishers . . . . . . . p. 58
Columns INDUSTRY INSIGHT
BUSINESS OF NEWS
What the news business needs from Google and Facebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 20
A four-step formula for covering the Trump administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 22
Why email newsletters continue to succeed for newspapers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 24
2 | E & P | FEBRUARY 2016 editorandpublisher.com
editorandpublisher.com NOVEMBER 2017 | E & P | 3
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Leading with Success
n our annual call for nominations for our Publisher of the Year, we announced we were searching for “a successful newspaper leader” that could “strategize from the trenches with practicality and realism, but think with foresight and imagination.” This year, we received nearly 70 nominations filled with stories of men and women successfully moving the industry forward while operating from the frontlines. They all recognize the unpredictable nature their staff has to work in, but they haven’t lost sight of the importance of journalism. In today’s media world, a publisher not only has to understand the current climate of the news business, they have to be able to stay one step ahead. Dan Shea, publisher of the New Orleans Advocate, was recognized for a number of things, including doubling circulation and growing web traffic by 250 percent. He also purchased four weekly newspapers, launched three more, and upgraded the paper’s production facility. “Dan was the chief architect to build a team of seasoned journalists, launch new weekly newspapers, and cultivate loyal key advertisers by merging true journalistic standards with the development of an effective digital platform,” wrote Advocate owner John D. Georges. Sarasota Herald-Tribune publisher Patrick Dorsey was described as a “Renaissance man” by human resources director Danielle Brown in her nomination. “Dorsey…is one of those rare publishers who knows how to drive results, to embrace opportunities and to invest in the community while maintaining an unwavering commitment to local journalism,” she wrote. As president and publisher of Southern California News Group, Ron Hasse oversees a portfolio of 11 daily newspapers and websites, community weekly papers, monthly magazines, Spanish-language media and social media sites. Communications director Eric Morgan wrote, “He was instrumental in securing a successful bid for Freedom Communications on behalf of parent Digital First Media in April 2016, which expanded the audience footprint and geographic reach 4 |
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of the former Los Angeles News Group.” San Antonio Express-News publisher Susan Pape was praised for achieving a healthy profit without any buyouts or layoffs. According to executive vice president of marketing and advertising Ray McCutcheon, Pape used the existing sports staff to produce a TV show and magazine. “Not only did it work journalistically, but advertising was able to sell against sports coverage on multiple platforms,” he wrote. These are just a few examples of publishers who are achieving successful milestones at their publications. It doesn’t matter how big or small, each accomplishment should be celebrated. And there’s much to be celebrated at the San Francisco Chronicle, home to our 2017 Publisher of the Year Jeff Johnson. Since he became publisher of the Chronicle in 2013, Johnson has been instrumental in helping the Hearst-owned newspaper drive growth in revenue and audience numbers. While speaking with Johnson for the story, his passion for the industry was obvious. He understands the industry battles (he’s been through some himself), but he gave credit to his leadership team for helping him promote a newsroom culture focused on innovation and transformation. Called a “change agent” by his peers, Johnson is a successful newspaper leader staying one step ahead. This month’s issue also highlights the state of political journalism a year after Donald Trump was elected president. We felt it was important to take a look back at what lessons were learned and see where we’re heading. Reporting the truth and checking facts is now more important than ever. But as the last election taught us, we cannot predict everything. Not only has the White House staff had to deal with a “revolving door,” media organizations have had to adapt to constant change as well. That’s why we need successful, inspiring leaders like the publishers mentioned in this column—and the countless other publishers around the world who are working tirelessly to promote truth and freedom of press.—NY
CORPORATE OFFICES (949) 660-6150 FAX (949) 660-6172 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jeff Fleming email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR Nu Yang firstname.lastname@example.org GRAPHIC DESIGN Meredith Ewell ASSISTANT EDITOR Sean Stroh email@example.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Rob Tornoe, Tim Gallagher Matt DeRienzo SALES AND MARKETING CONSULTANT Wendy MacDonald, ext. 231 firstname.lastname@example.org CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING SALES Jon Sorenson (800) 887-1615 FAX (866) 605-2323 email@example.com SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES (888) 732-7323 MANAGER OF FULFILLMENT Rick Avila firstname.lastname@example.org CIRCULATION ASSISTANT Emily Wells Horneff PRODUCTION Mary Monge TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR David Kelsen DIGITAL DIRECTOR Bryan Sheehy DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING/OPERATIONS Janette Hood, ext. 201 email@example.com
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comments ))) experiences you. If you are delivering quality the customer will know and if you are cutting quality the customer will know. We don’t need Poynter to tell our customers the difference. DAVID DUNN-RANKIN
Submitted on editorandpublisher.com
Readers Care About Stories, Not Numbers
illustration by tony o. champagne
Downfall of Newspapers Could Be Greed Tim: Could not agree more. When newspaper companies went public they were obligated to produce financial results that increased profit, operating margins, dividends and stock price quarterly and executive bonuses depended on increasing EBITDA. (Business of News: Be Honest with Readers,” September 2017) The results? You either raise prices (hence revenue) or you cut costs (hence you wear a black hat with suppliers to reduce prices or you cut personnel—and you never cut the revenue department, you cut the editorial department, you cut pages to save newsprint, you cut out stock pages, you cut the TV guide, you cut content) Why? To make more money to pass on to executives in the form or bonuses, stock awards, dividends to shareholders, bonuses to corporate executives who drive the local editors and publishers. We live in a capitalistic democracy that promotes greed in simple terms: The more you get the more you want—and it has been the downfall of newspapers— and just may be the ultimate downfall our democracy. FRANK SHEPHERD
Submitted on editorandpublisher.com
Digital Growth Due to Connecting with Audiences I agree wholeheartedly. I think part of what plays into this is the “false positive” legacy operators saw in their digital growth in the first 20 years. (“Industry Insight: Selling a Service,” August 2017) It used to 6 |
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be assumed that massive growth publishers experienced was due to the volume of content and its popularity. However, I believe the data supports a different conclusion, that the growth experienced was also a factor of a) the number of people who were going online; b) the number of devices with which they were able to connect; and c) the time they would spend on those devices. Now that we’re at the end of the explosive growth of a, b and c, legacy operators are seeing their digital audiences moderate (at best) or decline. Moreover, the sites most able to continue to grow digital audience are those who are most closely connected with their audiences. These are also the sites that will be able to draw consumer support. MARK HENDERSON
Submitted on editorandpublisher.com
Local Newspapers are Doing Just Fine Tim, go back to the PR world. You are out of touch with reality. (Business of News: Be Honest with Readers,” September 2017) Our history is full of newspaper companies trying to do technology and diversifying away from print into other businesses. To suggest otherwise is someone who would rather rant than be factual. Our readers are fully aware the business is in difficult times. That is not news. To suggest otherwise is someone who hasn’t talked to a newspaper customer in a long, long time. They know. What is news is that many businesses are doing just fine— particularly those focused on local markets. You are what you do and how your customer
I sorta agree with David Dunn-Rankin, which frightens me because he’s such a curmudgeon (sorry, David). I seriously doubt that readers give a hoot about their papers’ readership numbers or financials. (Business of News: Be Honest with Readers,” September 2017) They simply want great, nowhere-else-to-be-found insights about the community in which they live. Hire a retired journalist, by all means, but have him or her write stories, not business reports. GORDON BORRELL
Submitted on editorandpublisher.com
Corrections are Not a Sign of Honesty How about trusting news outlets (not only papers) that do not have to run corrections galore? (“Industry Insight: We Regret the Error,” September 2017) I mean publications that view checking and double-checking their reportage as their sacrosanct duty, publications that wouldn’t let anything incorrect past their news desks in the first place? How about publications whose credo it is: if I’m not sure, I’m not publishing it? How about publications that limit themselves to reporting, instead of adopting the ill-advised mantle of public advocacy? Having to run corrections is a sign of shoddy reporting and shoddy editing. If you think the number of corrections is a sign of honesty, it’s your choice, and it is your problem, too. PETER ADLER
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10/19/17 2:42 PM
Don’t miss out. Let your voice be heard! Announcing:
Executive Voices This one is different. Introducing Executive Voices, the Inland sponsored gathering of top industry executives December 6th and 7th at Chicago’s Willis Tower. Executive Voices will be anything but boring. You’ll be engaged. First, the entire program is a conversation - not talking heads - a conversation in which your voice, your views, your ideas will be heard. You, along with the other participants, will help set the direction for a profitable newspaper future. Second, discussions will be led by six great peer facilitators who keep the conversation moving and ideas rolling. Meet just four of them:
Wednesday-Thursday, December 6-7, 2017 Willis Tower Chicago Limited to only 60 top executives
F O U N D AT I O N
You can determine the profitable future of newspapers. The cost is only $169 including dinner, lunch, activities and your seat at the table for the best discussion of the future of newspapers you have ever experienced. Contact Patty Slusher to reserve your place today. Email: pslusher@ inlandpress.org or phone 847.795.0380
More info at inlandpress.org
PJ Browning, President, Newspaper Division Evening Post Publishing
Terry Kroeger, President and CEO BH Media
Amy Glennon, Publisher, CMG Vertical Brands
Jeremy Gilbert, Director, Strategic Initiatives Washington Post.
Third, the topics are interesting. In fact, they were chosen by polling leaders like you:
Discussion Topics: Frequency: if not daily in print, what is right? Revenue: new revenue generation/business models Paywalls: to paywall or not to paywall Content: how much and what kind to create future value Digital Media: we’re all in, now let’s make it pay Culture: recruiting and retaining talent, especially young talent Weathering the Storm: how to come out stronger Join the best minds in the business and contribute to a meaningful and inspiring discussion about the future.
The discussion will not be complete without you.
the A section VOLUME 150
FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER 2017
> Look Ahead
A Home of Its Own DocumentCloud platform moves to Temple University By Sean Stroh
ince launching in 2009, DocumentCloud has made life a whole lot easier for many journalists. The open-source platform (documentcloud.org) allows users to upload, search for and analyze more than 3.7 million public documents, such as court filings, hearing transcripts, testimony, legislation, reports and memos. According to co-founder Aron Pilhofer, the website has been used by more than 8,500 journalists from 1,650 organizations around the world including the New York Times, Guardian and Washington Post. Its massive archive of documents are typically being viewed anywhere from 2 million to 10 million times per week. “We help them be more open and transparent about their sourcing, showing readers what they know and why they know it, rather than telling them,” he said. “At a time when trust in the media is at an all-time low, DocumentCloud is one way news organizations can start to turn that perception around.” DocumentCloud recently found a new home at Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia, where Pilhofer is the James B. Steele Chair in Journalism Innovation. The platform had been a project of the Investigative Reporters and Editors since 2011. Pilhofer will serve as executive director of DocumentCloud and lead the project on a day-to-day basis. The school plans on hiring several students to help run the platform. “I think it became clear to everyone that DocumentCloud needed to be its own entity, that it needed to have the focused time and attention of a dedi} Aron Pilhofer cated staff devoted solely to the 8 |
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platform,” Pilhofer said. “With what’s going on at the Inquirer and the Lenfest Institute, Philadelphia is very quickly becoming the hub of journalism innovation, which is another reason DocumentCloud was a good fit here.” As part of the move, DocumentCloud will receive a $250,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to build additional features and develop a payment model to support the cost of operating the site. Over time, the school plans to incorporate DocumentCloud into the Klein curriculum as well. Pilhofer emphasized that the platform will always offer the option of a free account and that news outlets will never be asked to pay for the documents they make public. “We hope, and believe, they will want to support us, and that is the model we have begun to put in place. We want supporters, not subscribers. There’s a key distinction there,” Pilhofer said. “That said, we can’t keep doing what we are doing without help from our users. Over the past few years, our technology costs have quadrupled. In many respects, that’s what we want. It means people are using us.” editorandpublisher.com
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the A section
Changing the Narrative NewsMavens features content curated entirely by female journalists
olish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza has launched a new project called NewsMavens in order to discover what would happen to the current affairs narrative if only women chose the news. The project will bring together female journalists from across Europe to curate the top news stories produced by their newsrooms on the NewsMavens platform (newsmavens.com), which went live last month. Google’s Digital News Initiative helped fund the project. According to project lead Zuzanna Ziomecka, women occupy just 27 percent of management positions in European newsrooms. Zuzanna Ziomecka “Though there have been numerous instances of male dominated or exclusively male news organizations, there has literally never been one made up entirely of women. At least not in Europe. So how can we really know if gender has an impact on the news?” she said. “And as long as we don’t know, what motivation does the news industry have to tackle its gender balance problem? We need to start by building a solid justification for change.”
Those participating in the project will have complete freedom over the news articles they submit to the website. However, each article a journalist recommends must be accompanied by a short summary and an explanation describing why they chose it. The content can be found on the NewsMavens website and will eventually be distributed through an email newsletter as well. Ziomecka said they plan on publishing seven to nine stories everyday from Monday to Friday. Female freelancers will produce a weekend edition that reflects on the biggest issues and events of the week. So far, NewsMavens has a dozen news organizations onboard, including the Irish Times, Austria’s Der Standard and Diene Korrespondentin in Germany. The goal, Ziomecka said, is to eventually engage around 30 news outlets. “We’re finding that the ones who respond most strongly to the idea not only feel deeply about our mission, but also have an inherently innovative approach to media,” Ziomecka said. “People we have reached out to who are rooted in paper or the old way of running media have a difficult time understanding the relevance and potential of a project that is, at heart, an experiment based on content curation and collaboration.” Ziomecka said their team has received tremendous support from men, whether they are heads of news organizations, publishers or educators. “This has been the most eye opening experience and one that convinces us that gender equality is not just a woman’s issue anymore,” she said. “Those who take the time to notice understand that having women onboard makes both business and editorial sense.”—SS
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the A section From the Archive OF THE MONTH “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” “House of the Rising Sun,” and “Ain’t No Sunshine”—these were just a couple songs that appeared on the Columbus Dispatch’s eclipse-themed Spotify playlist last August. According to Michelle Everhart, assistant managing editor of digital and innovation, the idea came from the paper’s editor, who saw a friend on Facebook asking people for eclipse song suggestions. The Dispatch’s own call for song ideas on its Facebook page received 94 comments, as well as a few dozen responses from Twitter. The paper embedded the 60-song playlist within eclipse-related content on its website and social media. The playlist now has more than 300 followers and can be found at spoti.fi/2uQsTmI. Due to the positive response from readers, Everhart said they have continued to curate other Spotify playlists such as one for Ohio State football tailgating. “We also plan to do them for area musical festivals and holidays,” she said. “It’s been a fun way to engage readers and to show that we are more than just words on newsprint.”–SS
The Fort Pierce (Fla.) News Tribune was one of the first newspapers to use a STOX/1050 micro-computer system for online capture and typesetting of United Press International’s high-speed stock market tables. The system, developed and marketed by the Fayetteville, N.C. Publishing Co., automatically and electronically captured stock market tables without intervention by a newspaper’s front end text editing system. Pictured (from left to right) are Robert Enns, News Tribune executive editor; Bob Woodsum, New York UPI vice president; and Lynn Ferraro, New Tribune production manager. This photo originally appeared in the Feb. 5, 1983 issue of E&P.
Michelle Everhart, Columbus Dispatch assistant managing editor of digital and innovation
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the A section > Wise Advice “What is design thinking, and why should newspapers adopt this approach to better understand its readers?” The McClatchy Innovation design-thinking program roots in Stanford d.School, influences from Google and evolution based on our own unique experiences. McClatchy emphasizes engaging different personality types and embracing the mindset of early stage entrepreneurship. We use the human-centered design process to understand people deeply, test new ideas rapidly at a low cost, and make changes to our products based on user feedback. Utilizing the } De’Osha Burkhaulter
design-thinking process allows newspapers to bring people together from multiple departments to unlock their creative potential while focusing on a common challenge. It’s an opportunity to empathize with your audience frustrations and observe their behavior to gain valuable insights. It’s a chance to test assumptions using minimum resources to come up with a solution that will not only delight your audience but make a difference in their lives.
De’Osha Burkhaulter is a client success strategist at H-L Media, the home of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and kentucky.com. She became a design-thinking coach for the McClatchy Innovation Collective in 2017.
LEGAL BRIEFS Media Outlets File Lawsuit Against Washington Lawmakers
According to Courthouse News Service, the Associated Press and other media organizations (among them, the Seattle Times, the Tacoma News Tribune and the Spokesman-Review) have filed a lawsuit against legislators in Washington state for failing to produce calendars, emails and other correspondence under the Public Records Act. The lawsuit claims that Washington lawmakers are misinterpreting language in the state’s public records laws in order to avoid turning over various materials connected to their work. An attorney representing the news outlets said the goal of the lawsuit “is to have the court weigh in and make them comply.” They also want the court to impose a penalty of up to $100 per page, per day, on public records requests that have been denied.
The amount Tronc paid for the New York Daily News, which is 50 cents less than the Sunday edition. Previous owner Mort Zuckerman purchased the paper for $36 million in 1993.
Standard-Examiner Sued by Utah Couple for Defamation
The Salt Lake Tribune recently reported that a Utah couple filed a defamation suit against the Standard-Examiner in Ogden after the paper published their 16-year-old son’s jail photo from a juvenile court case on its website. The couple claims their son was subjected to teasing and bullying after his peers found the mug shot, and that he has suffered from depression and severe anxiety. Additionally, the parents said they have suffered from “severe emotional and psychological trauma.” The photo and case information were allegedly obtained through the Weber County Sherriff’s Office software program which provides information regarding recent bookings to news outlets. The other defendants in the case include the paper’s parent company, Sandusky Newspaper Inc.; Weber County; and Records Finder. The boy’s parents are seeking nearly $40 million in damages. NOVEMBER 2017 | E & P
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the A section
} The Examiner Media staff celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its flagship paper, The Examiner.
‘Small News is Big News’ Examiner Media celebrates a decade in the newspaper business
n August 2007, Adam Stone found himself yearning for the camaraderie he once felt working as a reporter for a community newspaper. At the same time, he also noticed a need. With the closure of his town’s longtime weekly paper, and several journalism friends in search of a job, Stone decided to launch The Examiner the following month. Ten years later, it’s safe to say he made the right choice. “Because we were able to weather some serious storms, including the Great Recession nine years ago, the notion of the company reaching its tenth birthday and beyond did seem like a realistic way to envision its future,” Stone said. “The decade has, of course, been marked by countless challenges and hurdles to clear but navigating those situations is what running a business is all about. I enjoy the chess-like nature of the publishing game.” Currently, the company freely distributes 25,000 copies of its four weekly Examiner
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publications in the cities and towns of Putnam and Westchester counties in New York. A special anniversary section was inserted into all four Sept. 12 editions of the Examiner } Adam Stone, Examiner and featured reMedia publisher flective columns from Stone and editor Martin Wilbur, as well as a photo collage of their most memorable front and back pages. Though Examiner Media maintains a digital presence on social media and a website (theexaminernews.com), the print newspaper continues to connect strongly with its readers. For Stone, who assists with distribution of the paper, the power of print is something he often witnesses firsthand
} Examiner Media produced an eight-page special section commemorating the company’s 10-year anniversary.
while restocking copies at the local diner every day. “I’ll see people sipping their coffee, eating their eggs and reading the Examiner, sometimes creating conversations among adjacent restaurant-goers about everything from our latest front-page stories to our blotters, obits and puzzles,” Stone said. So, it makes perfect sense as to why the company’s philosophy is “Small news is big news.” “We agreed that in community newspapers, sometimes the best content is the type of small item that one couldn’t imagine being worth of publication anywhere else,” Stone said. “So for us, even small news items were a big deal, at least for our readership. With that thought in mind, our motto was born.” While it’s difficult to forecast what the next decade will entail for Examiner Media, Stone said he and his staff will continue doing what they know best—providing local news for communities in need of it. “So much has radically changed over the past decade, and change is only coming at a quicker and quicker pace,” Stone said. “But one enduring constant will be the endless hunger by people for professionally reported local news and the need for organizations like ours to feed that hunger.”—SS editorandpublisher.com
10/19/17 2:02 PM
the A section
Whiteout Conditions Minnesota newspapers run blank front pages to promote importance of local journalism
hat if one day, all the news vanished from the front page? That’s what happened in Minnesota when several hundred newspapers agreed to run blank front pages as part of a statewide “whiteout” campaign. The initiative took place during Minnesota Newspaper Week Aug. 13-19, coinciding with the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s yearlong celebration of its 150th anniversary. Several hundred newspapers in the state ended up participating in the campaign. “Feedback from MNA newspaper members has been overwhelmingly positive. Publishers report receiving calls from readers thanking them for publishing the paper
L-E&P-9x5.4375:Layout 1 6/8/16 9:20 AM Page 1
} Several hundred Minnesota newspapers participated in the "whiteout."
and some said it made readers appreciate the newspaper more,” said MNA executive director Lisa Hills. Keith Anderson, director of news for ECM Publishers (which produces more than 45
papers throughout Minnesota), said the campaign served as an opportunity for both readers and journalists alike to reflect on the essential role of local journalism. “It’s easy to assume the news that we all read each day will always be there. We just expect it, like the rising of the sun. But it takes serious effort, time and talent on the part of journalists to report news that matters to people,” he said. “We also know newspapers have endured some pretty tough times in the last decade and the volume of work that used to be handled by many has fallen on a reduced field of dedicated people. We believe that work is worth celebrating. And it’s also worth protecting for the benefit of everyone.”—SS
FEBRUARY 2016 | E & P
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the A section
Putting the Pieces Together The Membership Puzzle Project explores the path to sustainable journalism
} The Membership Puzzle Project will run through May 2018.
hat does the future of sustainable journalism look like? The Membership Puzzle Project is seeking to answer that question. Founded by New York University and Dutch journalism platform De Correspondent, the yearlong public research project aims to explore the viability of a reader-supported membership model for news organizations. The initiative is funded by the Knight Foundation, Democracy Fund and First Look Media. “If we look at media from a historical perspective, it’s primarily been a transactional relationship between the news outlet and the reader,” said research director Emily Goligoski. “But we’re starting to see a real paradigm shift in the way some organizations are engaging with their audiences.” One standout example Goligoski has encountered during her research is Inside Story in Greece, which regularly invites its members to pitch ideas for investigations and then allows a handful of them to co-report and publish with their editorial team. This model not only gives readers the stories they want but provides a better understanding of the journalistic process so often misunderstood by the general public. “While the New York Times is probably not going to undertake something like that with its members, I’m encouraged they have created a reader hub within the newsroom. They are really trying to inspire their staff to be thinking about what matters to their audience and how they can serve them better,” she said. “I think it behooves all of us to be asking those types of questions.”
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Goligoski said that organizations who are transparent with audiences regarding the investigations they are about to undertake tend to experience greater support from their members. “That is something that our newsroom partner De Correspondent has found to be really successful,” she said. “They are pulling back the curtain and letting people into their reporting.” The team has interviewed more than 40 news outlets so far, with the majority being digital-first publications as opposed to legacy institutions. However, Goligoski emphasized they also are looking to learn from membership models in areas beyond the news industry, such as unions, gyms, churches and activist organizations. Goligoski said the group plans on publishing an open database soon with information about organizations that practice effective forms of membership. “We hope it becomes an open source repository for people to contribute and discover new ideas pertaining to the membership model,” she said. “We want to provide a tool that offers specific and detailed examples for any type of news outlet interested in either revamping or implementing membership programs.” For more information, visit membership} Emily Goligoski puzzle.org. —SS editorandpublisher.com
10/19/17 2:02 PM
If you have a question you would like to see addressed, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
J-school students and industry vets tackle the tough questions
“Facebook recently revealed it sold about $100,000 worth of ads during the last presidential election cycle from inauthentic accounts and pages ‘likely operated out of Russia.’ Should there be more ad restrictions for media companies during an election?”
When Facebook discovered that accounts likely tied to Russia had purchased ads in the midst of last year’s presidential race, it raised an important question regarding how foreign actors could interfere with local elections. As a result, many are asking to increase the amount of restrictions for media companies during an election. Anant Naik, 21 For example, Virginia senator Mark senior, University of MinneWarner has said he is in the process sota (Minneapolis, Minn.) of writing a bill that would require social media companies to disclose who Naik is the opinions and editorials editor for the studentfunded political ads. While it seems run newspaper, the Minnesota like a promising idea, I would strongly Daily. He has written for the urge caution against posing blanket paper since 2014. regulations on advertisements during elections. The biggest concern with regulations in advertisements is the qualifications and the authority of the organization who decides whether or not an ad meets certain requirements. If the government decides what the regulations ought to be, it severely disadvantages campaigns that are critical of the government. This is especially true if a specific party is in power and controls what legislation is passed. This risks our country from entering an era of censorship that could mirror what happened during the 2010 elections in Myanmar, where the media was entirely regulated by the state, preventing any real democratic changes from occurring. Social media has transformed our election process. It allows a global audience to participate in the socialization of the election, which can sway local populations for or against candidates. This necessitates the response to such interference be complex as well. I think that first, social media organizations must crack down on fake and illegitimate accounts, especially during election year. This does not mean more regulation, but enforcement of already existing regulation. In a live broadcast from Facebook headquarters, CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised that the company would be far more transparent in their ad campaign policy. Each ad would contain public information about who was funding the campaign. This is a very important step because it keeps the decision-making power in the eyes of the voter. Ultimately, our efforts to legitimize our election process ought to begin with the voter base. Our priority should be to teach voters to identify legitimate sources rather than shutting sources of information, like advertisements, down. At the end of the day, the power of an election comes from empowering the voter. editorandpublisher.com
No, Facebook and other media companies shouldn’t be subject to additional advertising restrictions during campaign cycles. But the social media giant’s stunning lack of specificity about the activities of the Russian firm, with Kremlin ties, that bought $100,000 worth of advertising that ran, as The New York Times reported, before, John Micek, 47 during and after the 2016 campaign is an opinion editor, The PatriotNews (Harrisburg, Pa.) invitation to additional federal regulation. So that means they need to clean up their Micek has been The Patriown mess—before Congress steps in to do ot-News’ opinion edition it for them. since January 2013. But the devil here is in the details. Most traditional media companies have internal controls over what content appears on their websites, their air and in their pages. Facebook, as a digital media company, isn’t subject to the same restrictions as those legacy organizations, Bloomberg News reported. So that means it’s on them to keep closer tabs on their advertising. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s flagship brand doesn’t exactly have the best record, although the company recently did itself a favor when it announced it would release the ads purchased by the Kremlin-connected interests. CBS News reported that Facebook would undertake a number of steps to protect election integrity. Among them, Zuckerberg said Facebook will make its political advertising more transparent and that “anyone will be able to visit an advertiser’s page and view the ads” they’re sharing on the social media platform, CBS reported. Additionally, Facebook will strengthen its own review process for political ads. That’s key. Ideally, no content should appear on Facebook without its being subjected to the same thorough vetting as a traditional media outlet. Writing in The Guardian, Julia Carrie Wong nailed the issue: Facebook has to improve its own accountability and behave much more like a traditional media organization. “If Facebook actually wanted to restrict the ability of foreign powers to interfere with democratic elections, the obvious solution would be to implement strict standards for political ads and employ human staff to enforce them,” she wrote. “Such a system would introduce significant friction to the company’s self-service system, however, so in the grand tradition of self-justification, Zuckerberg has chosen to pass off expediency as principle.” The company will face its next big test in the upcoming elections in Germany. That will show whether the company has truly cleaned up its act. If it hasn’t, expect Congress to move. And that could be bad for the rest of the media business. NOVEMBER 2017 | E & P
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FREE FALL Steph Chambers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sgt. 1st Class Brian Karst, of the United States Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and of Vancouver, Washington, protects his head as he leaps out of an airplane during the Shop ‘n Save Westmoreland County Airshow on Sunday, June 25, 2017, at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity. Copyright © Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2017. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
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data page News Across Social Media Platforms % of U.S. adults who get news from social media sites
18% 20% Often
18% 20% Hardly ever
Source: “News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2017,” Pew Research Center, survey contacted Aug. 8-21, 2017 with 4,971 U.S. adults
Use of Traditional News Platforms by Social Media News Users % of each social media site’s news users who often get news from...
Local TV News websites/apps Print newspapers
44% 33% 33%
Source: “News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2017,” Pew Research Center, survey contacted Aug. 8-21, 2017 with 4,971 U.S. adults
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Most Popular Apps for Millenials Based on a survey where U.S. millennials (18-34 year olds) were asked to select their top three “most essential” apps of the apps they already have
How U.S. Adults are Spending Time on Mobile Apps Based on share of mobile app time spent by content category
Social networking 20%
Apple App Store
Instagram Source: 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report, comScore
Instant messengers 3% Retail 3%
Search/Navigation 3% News/Information 3% Maps 3% Photos 4%
Multimedia 10% Games 10%
Source: 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report, comScore
U.S. Internet Users Who Have Made a Purchase as a Result of an Ad Seen on Social Media Based on an online survey of 1,909 internet users, ages 13+
Yes, based on a Facebook ad Yes, based on an Instagram ad Yes, based on a Twitter ad Yes, based on a Snapchat ad Never made a purchase based on ads from these sites I don’t use social media
4% 2% 1% 45% 35%
Source: CivicScience, Aug. 24, 2017
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Recapturing Digital Advertising Dollars What the news business needs from Google and Facebook By Matt DeRienzo
oogle and Facebook say, often, that they want to help news organizations. They’re holding listening sessions, running pilot projects, rolling out new tools, stepping up those kind of overtures since fake news distributed on their platforms and propaganda targeted using their technology helped flip the 2016 presidential election. AMP and Instant Articles were introduced to speed up mobile web page loads, in theory helping news organizations extend their mobile audience—AMP on the open web and Facebook within its walled garden. But Facebook offered a somewhat generous revenue share (100 percent of revenue on ads sold by the publisher, and 70 percent of revenue on ads sold by Facebook). More recently, both companies have worked on features that would help publishers sign up new subscribers as a big push has been made away from reliance on ad-
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vertising and toward reader revenue. These moves are coming without much apparent direct self-interest by or benefit to Google and Facebook, other than staving off the drumbeat of criticism about what they’ve done to the economics of the news business. And that brings us to the heart of the issue— the thing that most of the “duopoly’s” efforts to help journalists so far have barely nibbled at. Even more than Google and Facebook have upended, and now control, publishers’ relationship with and access to readers, they have destroyed the ability to sustainably fund journalism through advertising. In 2017, they will capture an estimated 63 percent of the digital advertising market in the U.S., with Google taking in $35 billion, up 18.9 percent, and Facebook $17.37 billion, up 40.4 percent. They have captured an astonishing 92.7 percent of the growth in digital advertising in the U.S. And as Joshua Benton of
Nieman Lab has pointed out, add in growth from Amazon and Snapchat, and digital advertising for everyone else combined has actually dropped, not increased at all. Meanwhile, publicly traded newspaper companies are reporting quarterly print revenue declines of as much as 17 percent as digital stagnates. If Google and Facebook really want to help save journalism, bolder moves are necessary. Certainly arguments have been made about their broader self-interest in doing this, as discovery and sharing of content and information produced by journalists fuel their traffic and revenue. Can they do it? Well, Facebook’s most recent quarterly profit was nearly $4 billion. Google’s was more than $5 billion. In one quarter. Each could write a check for charitable support of journalism surpassing the existing total budget of every local newsroom in America, without putting much of a blip on editorandpublisher.com
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earnings. They could fund the ambitious new “Report for America” proposal conceived by Steve Waldman and the Ground Truth Project, which aims to place 1,000 new reporter positions across America in a Peace Corps-like program. They should. But we should also be talking about ways to end the serfdom. Helping publishers sign up new subscribers is fine, but how about we get at the Google- and Facebook-created advertising problem that is forcing news organizations to go there? That doesn’t have to mean less advertising revenue for the duopoly, more for publishers. In addition to competition with Facebook and Google’s targeting and self-service abilities, the commodification of digital advertising is the big problem for news publishers. Google and Facebook could help fix this, and solve a growing problem for advertisers
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in the process. Fake news during the 2016 election, and growing hate speech since, has brands questioning the cheap programmatic ad technology that can’t tell the difference between advertising inventory on a white supremacist website or YouTube video and an investigative news story by professional journalists at a local news organization. This issue will be exacerbated as programmatic adoption of native advertising and sponsored content grows. If a brand thinks a banner ad next to offensive or non-credible content looks bad, think about the damage created by a native advertising piece designed to blend in with that content. So why don’t Google and Facebook adjust their technology to offer brands the ability to advertise only in proximity to real news content, published by trusted, verified sources, and get those publishers a $5 CPM rate for advertising instead of 80 cents? Yes, national advertising networks exist
and have been attempted in the past by newspaper associations, but not with the targeting technology that programmatic can provide. Google has helped them get access to reselling of cheap programmatic networks, but that doesn’t address the basic economics of the situation. Before Google and Facebook can help save journalism, we need a much more serious and intensive look at how advertising works.
Matt DeRienzo is executive director of LION Publishers, an organization that supports local independent online news publishers from across the country. He is a longtime former newspaper reporter, editor, publisher and corporate director of news.
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business of news
Setting the Tone A four-step formula for covering the Trump administration By Tim Gallagher
here is one worthwhile scene in the dreadful 1981 movie, “Absence of Malice,” in which Wilford Brimley provides a beacon for journalists’ behavior in this murky age. If you haven’t seen the movie, allow me to summarize and save two hours of your life you might otherwise have wasted. Sally Field is a reporter set up by government lawyers to make it look like Paul Newman is the subject of an organized crime investigation. The selfish motives of every character in this movie are transparent, but it takes Brimley, an assistant attorney general assigned to clean up the mess, to remind us of how a disinterested journalist should behave. Brimley devastates people on one side of the chaos and just as the other side is smirking, he turns to them and repeats the reckoning. Everyone is flattened and only the facts are left. Brimley had no interest 22 |
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other than getting to the truth. This is how it should be with the press covering this or any other presidential administration. White House criticism of the press has been a constant in Washington since John Adams signed the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts that made it illegal to publish anything critical of the government. President Trump is continuing the tradition with his palette of criticisms ranging from bellowing stump speeches on “the fake news” to belligerent tweets to press conferences where he individually calls out reporters. What’s different about President Trump is the speed, the volume, the spread and the repetition of the press attacks. Then there’s the defensive reaction of the press—combined with a misguided softening of the line between straight news, analysis and opinion.
Fortunately, the remedy is the same as it has always been—a disinterested press whose light shines skeptically into each version of the truth. And one more thing: a steely-eyed focus on the issues that matter while eschewing the peccadilloes of the president. We have created the climate for the president to land blows in the fake news fight. An American Press Institute study found about one-third of Americans find it difficult to distinguish news from opinions in the news media. And now a Duke Reporters’ Lab study that shows “news organizations aren’t doing enough to help readers understand the difference between news, analysis and opinion.” That’s one thing you can start doing—develop a simple policy on how you are labeling your content. Spend some time drawing the line between opinion and analysis and editorandpublisher.com
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news. We don’t want reporters to become stenographers. We expect them to challenge the president’s untruthful statements that started on the day of the inauguration about the size of the crowd, but to do so without attitude and with evidence. Kathleen Hall Jamison, a founder of FactCheck.org, is part of a study that found it’s easier to debunk lies when you merely state the facts. It’s also easier to stay in the middle with readers when you drop the loaded language. Gerard Baker, Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief, has infamously asked his reporters to cut inflammatory words that seem to offer judgment out of straight news articles. (In the meantime, Baker’s impartiality itself has been questioned because of his ties to the president and his family.) He’s got a point. It’s not a good idea to call the president’s statements “lies” as the New York Times famously calls them. It ought to be enough to report there is no evidence
of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey after 9/11; no evidence of massive voter fraud; no evidence President Obama wiretapped his office. And so on. Were I setting the tone for Trump coverage, I would focus on these four things: policy and how it relates B Foreign particularly to America’s defense and
take the lead. We are headed toward a day when health care consumes a third of our GDP. An editor’s job is to set the tone for the newspaper. That should tough, but fair. Editors ought to demand that their reporting staffs be forever skeptical, but never cynical. Always even, but never adoring.
global economic interests; policy, particularly on C Domestic immigration and its effect on the economy; economy. It seems to be thriving D The on the belief that regulations will be loosened and taxes will be lowered. Is there a chance of that? future of health care. This E The is a ship without a captain and both
Tim Gallagher is president of The 20/20 Network, a public relations and strategic communications firm. He is a former Pulitzer Prizewinning editor and publisher at The Albuquerque Tribune and the Ventura County Star newspapers. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congress and the White House won’t
Sale Announced: Pioneer News Group
7 Daily newspapers and 15 Weekly newspapers
Cribb, Greene & Cope is pleased to be representing Pioneer News Group and the Wood family in their sale to Adams Publishing Group.
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Creating a ‘CustomerEngagement Funnel’ Why email newsletters continue to succeed for newspapers By Rob Tornoe
ith most things, the late, great David Carr was ahead of the curve. Take a piece the famed New York Times media columnist wrote back in 2014 about email newsletters, often viewed as an outdated technology that lost its luster in the mad dash to reach readers on social media. While most newspapers were doubling down on outlets like Twitter and Snapchat, Carr correctly pointed out that most of us start our day with email, valuable real-estate that outlets like Politico and Quartz targeted with must-read newsletters that helped them grow into influential online media companies. “With an email, there is a presumption of connection, of something personal, that makes it a good platform for publishers,” Carr wrote. “Publishers seeking to stick out of the clutter have found both traction and a kind of intimacy in consumers’ inboxes.” Fast forward to 2017, where Facebook’s constantly-shifting algorithm and Twitter’s 24 |
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depressingly small reach have frustrated editors and readers enough to transform an outdated artifact like the newsletter into the new darling of the media world. Of course, newsletters are hardly new. The Washington Post has more than 70 newsletters alone, focusing on topics as varied as politics, faith and parenting (they even have a newsletter that features their best comments). The New York Times recently added Smarter Living, a weekly roundup by editor Tim Herrera featuring advice on how to live a better life, to its large stable of engaging newsletters, and currently boasts more than 13 million email subscriptions, twice the number it had just three years ago. Large national newspapers like the Post and the Times have both the readers to support multiple newsletters and the staff to curate them. But what does a successful newsletter strategy look like for a local metro newspaper with limited manpower and resources to divvy up over multiple
newsroom projects? Like many newspapers, the Seattle Times had an automated daily morning newsletter that the newsroom spent very little time and effort creating. But after the paper underwent a complete redesign of its website in 2015, editors took the opportunity to revisit its newsletter strategy now that it had undertaken a digital subscription model. “Our digital subscription growth was significant and we knew registered user growth was important to sustaining that success,” said Kristi Waite, a product manager at the Seattle Times focused on newsletters. So Waite and her team began a four week experiment to see if readers would respond better to a thoughtfully complied, hand curated newsletter featuring original writing and unique staff photography, placing a premium on content that would be most engaging for its largely metro readership. For the duration of the experiment, Waite’s team dug in every weekday morning at 5 editorandpublisher.com
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a.m. and created a unique, highly engaging newsletter that went out to readers no later than 7:30 a.m. The result was the “Morning Brief,” which is now created daily by a minimum of eight people and sent out to a little more than 160,000 recipients. By all accounts, the new newsletter has been a hit among readers, boasting an open rate of 32 percent, much higher than the typical open rate of a media newsletter, which according to digital marketing firm Smart Insights hovers around 22 percent. The staff also routinely culls the email list, removing infrequent users that signed-up but never opened the newsletter, which helps to keep the open rate high and the readers engaged. “Since we’ve launched ‘Morning Brief,’ we have gained a much better understanding of what resonates with our audience, which varies by day of the week and has similar principles of our homepage or A1, a curated perspective from editors,” said Waite. A recent edition of the “Morning Brief” showcases the variety the newsroom attempts to highlight with each morning edition. The top story features an illustrated look at what cities vying for Amazon’s second headquarters (its first is in Seattle) can expect if Jeff Bezos picks them. In addition to more story links, the newsletter also featured the paper’s top editorial, a brief look at the weather and a moment in Seattle history, in this case the 47th anniversary of the death of native rocker Jimi Hendrix. In addition to its engaging editorial content, the newsletter also features an inline advertisement, while a separate weekly newsletter offered by the Seattle Times focused on improving public education is sponsored by Alaska Airlines. But those monetization efforts play second fiddle to a more important business consideration— driving and retaining digital news subscriptions. “Newsletters are the most efficient digital channel for converting readers to subscribers,” Waite said. “Based on subscriber conversions per visit, SeattleTimes.com visits referred by an email newsletter are 25 times more likely to convert than a visit to our site referred by Facebook.” As more and more newspapers move editorandpublisher.com
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behind some form of digital paywall, convincing more readers to become engaged with newsroom content is no small consideration. The Washington Post calls this strategy the “customer-engagement funnel,” where they use newsletter to convert nonregular readers into devoted followers to read more regular and eventual decide to subscribe to a digital bundle. Of course, the Seattle Times isn’t the only local metro that has committed resources to reawakening their email newsletter aspirations. If you’re looking for ideas, the San Francisco Chronicle recently hired best-selling author David Downs to launch Green State, a newsletter and vertical focused on cannabis culture and legal marijuana from the Bay Area and beyond. The Philadelphia Inquirer (my day job) recently launched two individually-curated newsletters: one focusing on the city’s food scene, and another covering the intersection of national politics with local culture, appropriately titled “Trumpadelphia.” Kris Higginson, who took over editing the Seattle Times’ “Morning Brief” newsletter back in February, said the best advice she could offer other editors looking to revamp their own newsletter offerings is to commit strong editors and writers to the project, and assign one person to write through the newsletter early in the morning. “Analytics are important, but so is tone, to ensure people keep reading and clicking,” Higginson said. “All of our folks have gotten really good at a chatty-yet-concise tone, and it just takes a bit of knitting together in the mornings to make the newsletter an engaging, trustworthy product that readers want to keep opening.”
Rob Tornoe is a cartoonist and columnist for Editor and Publisher, where he writes about trends in digital media. He is also a digital editor for Philly.com. Reach him at email@example.com.
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firstname.lastname@example.org NOVEMBER 2017 | E & P
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production BY JERRY SIMPKINS
A NEW PERSPECTIVE Creating revenue streams through innovative thinking and management of operational resources
s print revenues continue to be challenged, it is up to us to uncover new sources of revenue opportunity. There are distinct advantages presented in operations versus other “service departments,” such as the business office or editorial. Production often has the highest labor expense of all areas, needing those resources to facilitate daily operations in layout, composing, page output, press, mailroom and distribution. Paper costs alone can be one of, if not, the largest expense for any newspaper. Plate expense, press repairs, blankets, rollers and a multitude of other
consumables make production the most expensive department in our industry. It’s no wonder printing operations have been consolidated, moved to outside printers or in many cases discontinued all together in favor of digital publications. I remember years ago being one of the “geniuses” who was fairly confident this “internet fad” would quickly fizzle out and we’d be back to those 50 percent margins in no time. I don’t need to tell you that most newspapers were kidding themselves, mistakenly overconfident and in for the surprise of their life.
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So here we are now and while there’s still time (and I believe there is), let’s fight to minimize the backslide and manage resources to improve current operations by exploring new opportunities for commercial revenue and enhancement of in-company products.
Growing Outside Customer Revenues I’ve written before about commercial printing revenues, but from a much more conventional approach (bit.ly/26hwE29). I believe there are many unfound revenue opportunities still to be explored by every publisher, with or without a press. I’m tired of hearing there are no new opportunities in newspapers; I believe it’s a case of no new thinking in newspapers. If you have a press do you provide full-service commercial operations to your outside print customers? If you’re simply printing their papers, you’re missing out on a lot of other revenue opportunities. If you don’t have a press, there are still tremendous opportunities by partnering with outside publications to gain revenue.
Mailroom Services Many outside print customers continue to operate their own mailroom operations to spite not having a press. When I sell a commercial print job, many customers are surprised with the additional services we can provide, and if you don’t ask (i.e. sell them on it) they simply will continue with their own post-press operations. Recently, I was able to move a customer away from their current printer. I found they had weekly inserts and were employing a small army of employees to hand-stuff at their facility. I put together options to move that function to our facility on our SLS and justified significant cost savings to the customer, capturing additional revenue for my operation. While this may seem like and is simple common sense, if you don’t ask, the customer may feel comfortable with what they’re doing now and not go out of their way to change anything in their operation. It’s about selling services and uncovering every opportunity. The more effort you show and the more you can do to help enhance the customer’s business, the better your chances of not only securing that job but keeping it. You can charge for simple things like quarter-folding. Often customers want their products quarter-folded and their printer doesn’t have that ability on-press, so they settle. If this is the case in your shop, consider picking up an inexpensive used quarter-folder. There are Cheshire and Kirk-Rudy units on the market from many operations that have shut down in the past few years. Units can often be picked up for very reasonable prices and pay for themselves in a short period of time. Another marketable service can be providing mailing services to your outside accounts. I once had an account that labeled and mailed several thousand copies of their publications monthly. We printed their product and delivered it back to them. They brought in several of their employees to place sticky labels on, sort them and take them to the post office. When I explained how we could inkjet and sort their product and provided them with the numbers, they quickly signed up and moved the operation to us, increasing my revenue.
Expanding on this, as they grew it became difficult to produce their mailing in the time allotted, so we contracted with a local mail house and ended up making a tidy profit simply subcontracting work out and providing one-stop-shopping to the customer. My point is if you’re not aggressive about new revenues they won’t come to you. You can also expand outside of the manual operation of applying labels by ink-jetting your customer’s product and managing their mail list, utilizing your list management software. This may be more work for you, but providing a one-stop-shopping experience can be well worth the effort.
Booklet Printing and Binding Services Gaining the ability to stitch and trim publications into bound products can provide revenue from outside customers while adding opportunity within your core operation. Small print shops have taken it on the chin much the same as newspapers and as a result there is quite a bit of used equipment available through companies who deal in used equipment or by contacting the owners of these shops directly. Currently you can pick-up a used stitcher / trimmer (aka saddle stitcher) at a fair price. Once you’ve located and purchased a used unit, there are several options for getting the equipment up and running. Option one is to work with a company that not only sells the equipment but installs it as well. This is probably the cleanest approach since any issues that may come up during the installation the company who sold you is responsible for (be smart writing up the purchase contract). Option two is having the equipment vendor (i.e. Muller-Martini, McCain, etc.) orchestrate disassembly, reassembly and startup. While this usually provides the best service and can get you up and running very efficiently, it is usually most expensive and can be prohibitive. Option three is the least expensive but can also be problematic— using your own installation team. If your mechanical/tech team hasn’t dealt with a saddle stitcher before, things can be challenging. We recently acquired a unit from another site and while our techs have had few minor challenges with installation, we’re now down to fine-tuning and will be off and running shortly. To accomplish fine-tuning and operator training we contacted a non-competing local print shop who graciously allowed us to subcontract one of their experienced employees to help us along. It’s always impressed me how far printers will go to help others in the trade. When your customers find out that you can stitch and trim their special sections and produce booklets, they will in turn be able to market their new product line to their advertisers and open up a new niche product to market, increasing your revenues. It’s a win/win. A saddle stitcher also gives your advertising department new in-house opportunities to market. Stitched and trimmed tabs look much better than a standard tab and the additional cost for labor can be minimal. You can also enhance the look of the final product by adding glossy covers to booklets. If you don’t have the capability in-house for enamel/gloss printing, you can purchase covers from a
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Photos courtesy of Jerry Simpkins
fer to their advertiser. Many newspapers doing commercial printing settle for printing what their customers send along; I’m a firm believer in partnering with them to help grow their business, which trickles down and grows my business.
} Newsprint is one of, if not, the largest expense for most operations. Web reductions and controlling draws that newspapers employed over the years can also be beneficial to the financial health of your commercial clients. Assist clients with new and innovative ideas that maintain their solvency and keep revenue flowing into your operation.
local sheet-fed printer or a printer with heat-set or UV web presses. Marking up this printing, marrying it to a printed product from your press and providing a final booklet to your customer can really add to your revenues. In-house, you may suddenly be your advertising department’s new best friend. I guarantee a final stitched and trimmed product will allow sales to be more fruitful than selling a conventional standard tab. Even those special section tabs that are more editorial driven will look better and add to the overall reader experience.
Up Selling Your Current Product Line Many of the customers I’ve moved from their previous printers have made that move because of additional color availability. Publishers tend to grow accustomed to the color restrictions of their printers. I’ve secured many print customers by being fortunate enough to have better equipment and present how I’m going to help them fix the lack of color availability they’ve been accepting in their publication. When you meet with a potential customer, listen, and they’ll reveal all opportunities for you to grow revenue and secure their account. Many publishers have outgrown the capacity of their printer and are paying for multiple press runs to gain the necessary color to satisfy their clients. Publishers can grow complacent with printers and unless you show them how to improve their product with additional color most of them won’t come to you looking; they’ll just make things work with their current printer. Focus on your saleable strengths and sell solutions instead of simply selling services. Another enhancement you can add to your product line and offer to outside customers is a spadia. In a previous article, I touted this for in-house products, but it’s also something that can be aggressively marketed to commercial accounts and one more thing they can of28 |
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Web Reductions for Commercial Accounts We’ve all been at newspapers that reduced web size or basis weight to reduce expenses. There is no reason whatsoever why we shouldn’t help our commercial customers understand and relate to those savings as well. I want my commercial accounts to be around for a long time and the best way to do that is to help ensure their financial health. I’d rather have a smaller profit margin than no profit at all. Referring back to my statement of partnering with commercial accounts, I attempt to educate commercial customers on the benefits of lower paper costs through web reductions. Sure it takes a bit of reformatting, but it’s well worth the savings. There tend to be two objections to reducing the size of the printed page from commercial customers: We’re going to get complaints from advertisers, and we’re going to get complaints from readers. My answer is sincere but a bit direct: you’d be surprised how little difference it will make to anyone. From the advertiser’s standpoint, they may feel they are getting a smaller ad. My response is it’s about real estate—a half page is still a half page and a three-by-five is still a three-by-five. You are getting the same portion of real estate on the page. I’ve not had that explanation fail yet, mostly because it’s true. As far as reaction from readers, it’s much the same. I’ve worked at newspapers where we’ve reduced the web, had meeting after meeting on how we’re going to address the fallout, only to have three or four readers call to ask “Why the change?” The complaints are overshadowed by readers calling to compliment us on the new format. In the end, it’s truly a non-event.
Delivery Services We can produce a commercial product and have it picked-up, or we can deliver the product to their doorstep for an additional fee, or we can look at smarter delivery as another revenue stream. Consider exploring out-of-the-box partnering options like inserting copies of commercial publications into the zones of your core product, piggybacking home delivery with your core publications using your carrier force, sending their product out with your TMC, handling bulk drops to similar store locations, etc. All at a nominal fee which managed well can return an excellent margin with minimal expense on your part.
Page and Ad Composition Services We’re a business and should sell like one. If you have something someone else needs and you’re good at it, market it and fill the need. Many newspapers send ad production overseas because it’s simply more economical. If that model works so well, why can’t we be the producer and market the concept to our commercial accounts?
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THE LATEST FROM… Metro Creative Graphics
Why did Metro Creative Graphics decide to acquire Creative Outlet? } Stitch and trim booklets can mean additional revenue opportunities for the
publisher, regardless of if that means enhancing in-house products or creating new revenue streams for your commercial clients. Here, an operator sets up the equipment before binding a stitched booklet for a marketing display piece.
The same can be said for pagination. We have some very talented people in our page layout areas. We should be marketing that as a service to outside customers as well. We can be the prepress departments for commercial accounts that we print and profit from that service.
Digital Options for Commercial Customers Last but not least, don’t fall asleep at the wheel again like we did when no one acknowledged the threat of the internet to our printed product or we scoffed at Craigslist challenging our classifieds. Digital is here to stay and it’s a force to reckon with. I truly believe there is enough room for both print and digital and we can profit from both when marketed correctly. The majority of our smaller commercial accounts don’t have websites. They don’t know the first thing about starting one up and if they did they wouldn’t know how to market and sell to their advertisers. Become your commercial customer’s web designer and provider. We have employed some of the most talented web designers to develop and maintain our core publication websites; let’s market that service to our commercial accounts and develop yet another revenue stream. Before you react to my suggestion, don’t look at this as a way to lose revenue through reduced print quantities, but instead a way to grow overall revenue by marketing one-stop-shopping services to commercial accounts. Sooner or later, they’re going to want to satisfy the digital needs of their advertisers, and it’s better to jump on with them at the front-end than to lose their revenue completely. Jerry Simpkins is vice president of the West Texas Printing Center, LLC in Lubbock, Texas. Contact him on LinkedIn.com or at simpkins@tds. net.
Metro’s acquisition of LSA’s Creative Outlet (formerly MultiAd Ad Builder) followed several attempts over their 50-plus year history. Since Metro’s start in 1910, competitors have come and gone, but only Creative Outlet remained. In response to the overall climate of the newspaper industry, and the growing expertise of continually evolving effective print and digital adsupport products and services, they reached out to us to take on their accounts and fold the division of their operation. We fully appreciate the challenges they faced and embrace their clients as new members of our Metro family.
How can newspapers benefit from Creative Outlet’s services/products? All Metro clients are able to access even more valuable creative and sales support tools since our expansion to include Creative Outlet products and services. Additionally, the acquisition allows Metro to invest even more in new ways to help newspapers improve bottom lines. The redesigned metrocreativeconnection.com is easy to use and highly intuitive for creativeand sales-oriented users, helping to make this beneficial transition seamless to our newest clients. Clients will now have a greater advantage in closing more ad sales with Metro’s MiAD Wizard. This unique online application helps sales professionals create personalized spec ads for every prospect in seconds, achieving greater success by presenting specific ideas to help advertisers retain and attract business. New libraries to target key advertiser categories with high-end Food & Dining and Stylized Auto Images are also coming soon. Robert Zimmerman is president and CEO of Metro Creative Graphics. For more than 100 years, Metro Creative Graphics, Inc. has provided advertising, creative and editorial resources for newspapers and media companies in North America and beyond, delivering solutions for print, web and mobile sales results. Metro’s products and services include art and photos, spec designs, editorial features, ready-to-sell special sections with companion online e-sections and digital ad development tools.
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Move Over, .com, .org and .net As the domain name system expands, what opportunities await for businesses and consumers? By Lori Schulman
n 2015, we alerted E&P readers to the expansion of the domain name system and what it would mean for the business community and the public at large (bit.ly/2xTYVTl). Consumers could expect to see domain names with extensions noting cities, such as .nyc, .london, and .paris, or brands, such as gucci, .audi, and .google. These extensions are known as “top-level domains,” or TLDs. The idea behind the TLD expansion was to promote consumer choice, trust, and competition on the internet. The argument was that many “good” names were already taken and expansion would help foster innovation and creativity on the web. Communities, individuals, and businesses would no longer be confined to .com, .net, or .org. Instead, by investing in a new TLD, they could determine their own way of leading users to the wealth of information, goods, and services available online. After a lengthy application process, the domain system has expanded from 22 domain name extensions in 2012, when the new TLD program application period opened, to more than 1,200 TLDs today. A new TLD application costs $185,000, not including legal, technical, or other professional fees. An initial investment typically runs well above that figure. Much has changed in the two years since the last article featuring TLD expansion appeared. Today, the new names are widely accessible to the public. How is the public responding? Is the program fulfilling its promise of increasing consumer choice, competition, and trust? The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that oversees the domain name system, is asking these questions. Numerous reviews are underway to determine the effectiveness of the expansion and whether a new round of applications should begin. So far, the jury is out as to whether the new domain name extensions will enjoy public acceptance and long-term success. The operators of the new domain names, known as registries, are learning how to effectively use and market the names so that the consuming public understands their purpose. The lengthy time frame between the application for and approval of a new domain name extension allowed forwardthinking applicants to develop sophisticated marketing plans, while others may have lost opportunities to execute their already-developed business models. From the brand owners’ perspective, the new domain name extensions are a mixed blessing. As new ways of marketing are introduced, so are new opportunities for Continue on page 33
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10/19/17 2:49 PM
GMAT and NMAT trademarks are respected products from the Graduate Management Admission Council
The GMAT® exam is accepted by more than 6,500 graduate business programs worldwide.
The NMAT™ exam opens the door to the leading management programs in India.
NMAT™ is a trademark of the Graduate Management Global Connection (India) Private Limited (GMGC), a subsidiary of Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The GMAT logo, NMAT by GMAC logo, and NMAT by GMAC™ are trademarks, GMAC®, GMAT®, and Graduate Management Admission Council® are registered trademarks of GMAC in the United States, India, and other countries. ©2017 Graduate Management Admission Council
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10NewspapersFP2018Big.qxp_Layout 1 9/26/17 9:11 AM Page 1
Nominate your paper, submit your ideas Enter via email: (Subject line: E&P 10) email@example.com
Enter online at: editorandpublisher.com/10newspapers Our March issue will profile what we have long labeled “10 Newspapers That Do It Right.” Never meant to be a “10 Best” list, instead it spotlights select newspapers that have earned a notable achievement in at least one particular area, carried out a successful innovation, implemented cost-savings procedures, or developed programs that have generated revenues or increased circulation. The objective of the story is to bring ideas together and share the best and the brightest in one comprehensive feature. All ideas are welcome.
Deadline: January 15, 2018 Please include: • Your name / contact info • Name of nominated paper • Daily or weekly? • Circulation • Notable innovation, achievement, story, procedure, etc. • Your ideas to help newspapers succeed and grow
Move Over, .com, .org and .net tion review period, the ongoing expense, and the absence of strong marketing or monetization plans. For the other 90 percent, emerging benefits include increased security for customers, more flexibility, and creativity in messaging. The German auto manufacturer Audi AG is creating branded websites for its dealerships in Germany. Audi is also redirecting twitter.audi and facebook.audi to its social media pages. Health care providers can go to immunize.nyc to enroll in a public health registry, Google is using domains.google to sell domain names, and Barclays Bankâ€™s home page is now found at home.barclays. These are just a few examples that demonstrate the possibilities that new domain names provide to communities, businesses, and consumers. As consumer protection is the cornerstone of trademark protection, it appears that consumers may be subjected to more fraud and abuse along with choice. Members of the business community, civil society, and governments are now trying to achieve an acceptable balance through ongoing ICANN reviews. To read more about new TLDs, visit inta.org/Advocacy/Pages/Internet.aspx, newgtlds.icann.org/en, and dotbrandobservatory.com. ď Ž Continued from page 30
online abuse, such as cybersquatting and phishing. According to the Dot Brand Observatory, 10 percent of the 600 dotbrand applications have been abandoned. The reasons include the delayed applica-
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As senior director of internet policy, Lori Schulman serves as the International Trademark Associationâ€™s primary representative and spokesperson engaging the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and other internet-related organizations, and will participate in the development of Association policies and positions on ICANN issues and on trademark issues relating to the internet. For more information, visit inta.org.
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E&P PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR
Johnson San Francisco Chronicle
Photo by Russell Yip/San Francisco Chronicle
By Nu Yang
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hen you’re in charge of a 152-year-old institution, you have to work on transformation in order to stay relevant. That’s the case for our 2017 Publisher of the Year Jeff Johnson. As publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle, Johnson has been instrumental in making strong investments in people and products aimed at helping the publication grow and succeed in a world and industry that sees constant change.
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E&P PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR
} Chronicle publisher Jeff Johnson (center) is pictured with his revenue-driving team: (left to right) Brandon Mercer (executive producer, SFGATE), Mick Cohen (VP, consumer sales and distribution), Alison Pfaff (executive director, Hearst StoryStudio), Steve Bentz (SVP, sales), Sarah Morse Cooney (VP, marketing), and Ginger O’Neal (VP, digital sales and operations).
Johnson became publisher of the Chronicle in 2013 after a 25-year career in publishing. The 58-year-old was born in Fargo, N.D. but grew up in Chicago. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago, he joined Tribune Co. and served on senior management roles at the Chicago Tribune and Orlando Sentinel. Johnson also served as senior vice president and general manager of the Los Angeles Times from 2000-2004, and from 2005-2006, he served as Times president, publisher and chief executive officer. After that, he worked as an operating partner from 2007-2013 at the Yucaipa Companies in private equity with a focus on media investments. In an industry where so many people are leaving for greener pastures, why did Johnson decide to return? He explained that although he enjoyed helping groups look at their business models and make finan36 |
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cial projections at Yucaipa Companies, he missed being the one making the choices. “I’ve always been more of an operational guy,” Johnson said. It was then during a chance phone call with Hearst Newspapers president Mark Aldam that conversations started about Johnson returning to the world of newspapers again. “The timing was just right,” Johnson said (he and his wife, Melissa, are “empty nesters,” with three grown sons: Eric, Brent, and Zack). “And I wouldn’t go back to any other company except for Hearst.” He spoke highly about the Chronicle’s privately-held parent company, stating the group is financially strong and known for supporting their people. Since coming to San Francisco four years ago, Johnson said it has been some of the most enjoyable times for him in journalism, calling it a “privilege” to work for such an organization.
Looking at the Big Picture It was a Monday afternoon when I spoke with Johnson. When I asked him to describe a typical work day for him (he currently oversees a staff of 475 people), he chuckled and said, “I don’t want to bore you with the details” citing that checking emails and attending meetings didn’t sound very exciting. Instead, he painted me a big picture of what he’s trying to accomplish at the Chronicle. Whether it’s rolling out new ad products for clients or how to get more people to pay for subscriptions, Johnson said his work is to transform the paper into a new media company in order to “move the needle.” “It’s easy to get caught up in the mechanisms of changing the business and letting it get away from us, but change is happening faster and faster,” he said. “We can’t just be talking about transformation. We’re 152 years old; we have a lot of muscle memory of doing things the same way we’ve always editorandpublisher.com
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} From left to right: Chronicle editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper, Visionary of the Year nominees Sarah Krevans, Raj Jayadev, Angela Glover Blackwell, Dr. Priscilla Chan, City National Bank Northern California executive vice president Michael Walker, Visionary of the Year nominee Eric Weaver, and Chronicle publisher Jeff Johnson.
done them. For example, we’re not just selling ads anymore; we sell solutions to clients. We’re changing our skill sets and that doesn’t happen unless we try new things.” Before Johnson became publisher, the Chronicle was in a very different place. In 2009, Hearst announced they were going to make significant cuts after reporting the paper had lost $50 million the previous year. According to a report, if savings could not be accomplished “quickly,” the company would seek a buyer or if none came forward, it would close the Chronicle. In the end, Hearst did not sell off or close the paper. Instead, from 2009 to 2012, the company worked on turning the Chronicle around. It did make cuts at the paper, which included shutting down its printing facility and outsourcing its printing to presses operated by Canada’s Transcontinental Inc. But by 2013, the paper was profitable. When Johnson joined the paper, most of the groundwork had already been done. Now it’s up to him and his team to maintain the company’s growth and keep it operating as a healthy organization. Editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper was named the paper’s managing editor three weeks before Johnson started. Cooper, who has been with the Chronicle since 2006, said, “It’s always disconcerting when a new executive comes on, but it was also exciting editorandpublisher.com
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in a lot of ways. It was all brand new to us. We were all trying to figure each other out and figure out what to do next.” But it didn’t take long for Cooper to realize they were all in this together (Cooper said she and Johnson “spoke the same language” due their Midwestern roots; Cooper is a native of Kansas City, Kan.), and after a stressful decade, she said it started to feel like they were finally “rowing instead of trying to keep from sinking.” That could be due to Johnson’s mentality. “I always convey this message to my staff: our growth strategy should be our lead,” he said. That strategy includes taking chances on new products that aren’t related to their print product. The Chronicle has greatly invested in two digital products and finding success with both of them. Digital agency 46Mile was created in 2014. The company provides marketing and advertising services, such as brand strategy, website services, SEO and analytics, and public relations. StoryStudio, the paper’s content marketing strategy, was founded in 2015. To date, more than 800 stories have been created for clients in marketplaces like retail, health/ medical, education, and food/beverage. “We can’t just say to clients ‘We’re from the Chronicle, and that’s why you need to advertise with us. That doesn’t work for us
anymore,” Johnson said. “It’s now about understanding the clients and their needs and finding them the best solutions.” He continued, “Obviously we can’t control how much brands like Macy’s spends, but we can focus on things locally. We have to monetize our presence in the local marketplace and allow advertisers to tell their stories.” StoryStudio executive director Alison Pfaff said Johnson has been supportive and passionate of the project since it launched. “He’s able to think outside the box and look at different opportunities,” she said. “It feels like a start-up…maybe ten years ago, this idea might have been silly to think about, but now we have to try all things and that’s because (Johnson) is a forward thinker.” Overall, digital advertising revenue is up 16 percent over 2016 and now comprises 48 percent of total advertising revenue for the Chronicle, according to director of marketing Sarah Morse Cooney. In addition, SFChronicle.com, the Chronicle’s premium subscription site, has seen traffic grow in 2017 to more than 4.5 million unique monthly visitors, an 87 percent increase over 2016. When taking chances, you also are bound to make a few mistakes. Johnson said it’s important to make mistakes. “The key thing is that you don’t give up,” he explained. For example, in August, the Chronicle launched The Press (sfchronicle.com/thepress), an online, interactive guide where visitors can read reviews and explore and create trips to wine country. With every new product, a lot of work was put into it, but Johnson said “lots of patience” is also required. The results might not come in as quickly as they would like, but they are still committed to the product, he said. With Silicon Valley in their backyard, Johnson viewed it as a benefit. “Our consumers are highly engaged with technology,” he said. “They can adapt better to it, so our market is different in that way.” The Chronicle has also partnered with Google with various events in the past. One event invited real estate clients to the Google campus to attend educational workshops, and afterward, the Chronicle was able NOVEMBER 2017 | E & P
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E&P PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR
} From left to right: Filmmaker and actress Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Chronicle Visionary of the Year Dr. Priscilla Chan, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Chronicle editorial page editor John Diaz, and Chronicle publisher Jeff Johnson.
to follow-up with them and let them know how their own digital services could help them. He viewed the paper’s relationship with the neighboring tech companies as partnerships rather than competition. On the editorial side, the content is also growing as the newsroom experiments with different storytelling techniques that have reached broader audiences. When Cooper came to Johnson about a project idea that would tackle the city’s homelessness problem, Johnson gave her an enthusiastic thumbs-up. The result was “The SF Homeless Project” (sfhomelessproject.com) that brought together 80 organizations in print, TV, radio, web and social media reporting on the issue of homelessness in San Francisco and the Bay Area on the same day. Its aim was to hold public officials accountable and shed more light on the issue to the community. The project produced more than 350 stories, TV reports and live events, reaching million of readers and viewers. Numerous other cities also replicated the project in their own communities. In addition, the Chronicle produced “Last Man Standing,” a report on San Francisco’s aging survivors of the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s. It was presented in a 20-page newsprint section and published online with video, interactive graphics and 38 |
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slideshows. A feature-length documentary was also written, directed and produced by Chronicle staffers and was shown at film festivals throughout the country. In 2016, Johnson also funded the creation of an investigative reporting team, something the paper had not done for at least a decade, said Cooney.
A Partner, Not a Boss When I spoke with some of Johnson’s colleagues, they were all quick to point out his mission to transform the work culture into a positive and encouraging environment. Cooper said Johnson has made a big investment in human resources, which is unusual since more and more papers are dealing with layoffs and buyouts instead of new hires. In 2015, Cooper was promoted to editor-inchief becoming the first woman to hold that position. That same year, the Chronicle was recognized as one of E&P’s 10 Newspapers That Do It Right. Johnson puts in a lot of effort to cultivate an environment that encourages and lifts up its employees. “Each new hire attends a luncheon with (Johnson) where transformation is discussed along with major initiatives being deployed so employees can immediately
connect with a culture of change,” said Cooney. Johnson explained, “You don’t want to create a tough culture. Our employees already have enough to deal with. You don’t want an environment where they feel beat up whenever they come in to work…they need one where they can go grow constructively filled with highly-motivated people because a bad culture can zap motivation.” Since starting as senior vice president of sales two years ago, Steve Bentz said he’s noticed a positive shift in his department, especially among the younger sales reps who now understand more than ever that they have a mission and a purpose—and that’s to fund “great journalism.” “I don’t see (Johnson) as a boss,” Bentz said. “He’s more like a partner and a collaborator…he’s the perfect blend of a visionary and an executioner.” As a publisher, Johnson said the role has become less traditional and more transformational. Instead of him sitting in the big office designated for the publisher, the SFGate.com (the paper’s free and breaking news site) staff currently occupies that space while Johnson sits in a smaller office located out in the newsroom. “Publishers used to sit in giant rooms, where everyone would come to them, but that’s now a thing of the past,” Johnson said. “Now we want to be out there as part of the change.” There’s a new sense of excitement in the air filtering through all the departments. Johnson called this time the most collaborative he’s ever seen. Bentz, who has been in the business for 36 years, agreed, stating in the past, the content and the advertising sides never sat together in the same room. “Now we’re all in the same room making decisions together,” he said. “Jeff demands it.”
A Bright Future Looking ahead, Johnson said he believes the Chronicle will be around for a long time. “We’re the largest newsroom in our region. It’s an old adage, but we want to be the voice for the powerless and hold the powerful accountable. We will rise up to that challenge editorandpublisher.com
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} Chronicle publisher Jeff Johnson speaking at the newspaper’s annual Visionary of the Year Awards Gala.
} From left to right: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Chronicle Visionary of the Year Dr. Priscilla Chan, and Chronicle publisher Jeff Johnson.
and cut through the clutter. The Bay Area is a great market with a deep passion for what we deliver to them.” Cooper also believes the future is bright at the Chronicle “as long as we keep diversifying our business because we can’t keep doing the same old thing…we constantly have to ask ourselves, ‘What’s next?’ and ‘What can do we better?’”
There will be more challenges, Bentz acknowledged, but the digital side will continue grow and that’s the area where the Chronicle will continue to invest in. “Jeff is a truth teller,” Bentz said, referring to the decline of print. “He sees the trends, and he’s getting ahead in the game by developing digital solutions, so we can do it quickly and do it right.”
DV &M CIVITAS MEDIA HAS SOLD
ALTON (IL) TELEGRAPH 11,000 daily circulation
JACKSONVILLE (IL) JOURNAL-COURIER 7,000 daily circulation
HEARST NEWSPAPERS We are pleased to have represented Civitas Media in this transaction.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray Santa Fe, NM
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t: 505.820.2700 www.dirksvanessen.com
NOVEMBER 2017 | E & P
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What’s In, What’s Out By Jennifer Swift
Taking a look at the news media a year after President Trump’s presidential victory, and where it’s heading to next
illustration by tony o. champagne
year ago this month, media critics were sharpening their obituaries for their media brethren, warning of an increasingly shifting landscape. But then Nov. 8, 2016 happened. Every journalist who was caught off guard tried to reckon with what they deemed a “post-fact world”—and the ones who weren’t surprised at the upset doubled down.
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What’s In, What’s Out The election of Donald Trump launched a thousand think pieces about what the media got wrong, and a frenzy of newsroom strategy meetings to cover a president the likes of which they had ever seen. As the campaign’s volatile nature with the media continued, the public rejected news as unbiased, and reporters and news organizations who had tried to delve deep during the election doubled down, and the forecasters who got it all so wrong started to shift their focus. The first sign that this was going to be a White House covered unlike any other clearly began with the campaign, but reaffirmed itself even before the champagne flowed at the inauguration balls. The sparks between the media and Trump began flying just as investigations and questions into the president-elect’s business holdings began. Fact checkers who had learned facts were negotiable in the campaign were in full-swing trying to correct statements that Trump won with the biggest electorate in history. Despite facts to the contrary, that didn’t stop Trump bragging about the statistic, and it was often repeated by his transition team as they fought off questions about Russia’s alleged intervention in the election. This immediate disregard for historical fact set the stage for the past year’s battle between the White House Press Corps and a White House media team and president who purport different facts when it suits their need, and labels anything to the contrary as “fake news.” First, it began with a change in the briefing room where alternative media outlets, such as Infowars and other Sandy-Hook conspiracy theorists were given a voice over mainstream outlets such as CNN. The battles between then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer and people in the room continued, while the president lobbed his own version of the facts on Twitter. Then came inauguration day—which proved another unsettling day for factcheckers as the new Commander in Chief made claims about the size of his inauguration day crowd. While disregard for facts wasn’t new, a restriction on what public 42 |
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agencies could tell the media and Tweet was swiftly enforced. This led to leaks— reporters were desperate for information and officials working for the administration sought to get facts out. More press secretaries have traveled through the briefing room— each having a strenuous relationship with the media in the White House. But the newsrooms have pushed back— commentators selling the administration’s talking points have gotten pushback, and some like KellyAnne Conway have even been uninvited from shows. The president has tried to blacklist media organizations and is facing a lawsuit after blocking people from seeing his tweets. A year after the election, the media hasn’t frosted over and backed down as expected. Washington bureaus that were previously anemic have staffed up and thawed out, and they have put reporters doing the best investigative reporting on beats dedicated to the ongoings of the office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As the revolving door of staff at the White House swivels forward, so has the news media made substitutions of their own. Though the media has been on guard and adversarial to the president, they haven’t been without looking at their own problems. After the Trump’s campaign win, many media organizations around the country rallied together to support real news (from national marketing campaigns launched by the News Media Alliance to local ones such as the “Why Newspapers?” campaign from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association). As journalists look back at this turbulent year, they also sought to create a roadmap for what to do next.
A year after the election, the media hasn’t frosted over and backed down as expected.
What’s In Podcasts by the People While the president has often tried to make decree in 140-character limit, not all politicians feel restricted to do the same. Seeking a longer outlet, former District Attorney Preet Bharara has started a podcast, hosted by WNYC and Pineapple Media. In the year since the election, typical podcast formats hosted by radio personalities, featuring journalists interviewing journalists are still at the top of the charts, but they’ve had to make room for the professionals. Podcasts like “Pod Save the People” featuring former staffers of President Barack Obama and Bharara’s podcast have made their way to the top of the charts. In ads for Bharara’s podcast, “Stay Tuned With Preet,” the attorney introduces himself as the man fired by Trump, who’s now on the sidelines and trying to bring people to the podcast who are in the “room” where it happens—to borrow a line from “Hamilton.” “I just think we’re living in an unpreceditorandpublisher.com
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One Year Later:
egorkeon / Shutterstock.com
Looking Back at Trump and the Media
November 2016: Just days after Trump is certified as the presidential winner, his tweets about the media are back in full swing. Responding to news reports about his business dealings and potential conflicts of interest, Trump said the “crooked media” was making things a big deal. The tweet came just hours after the president-elect met with the top brass at the big media companies. The debate about whether Trumps’ tweets speak for the office of the president begins. December 2016: While Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan said the paper is profitable and growing, and reaffirms a commitment to investigative stories and deep policy dives, the tour of media bashing continues. The president-elect’s press secretary Sean Spicer assures reporters that the president’s habit of barring certain outlets from the press won’t continue once he’s in the White House. (Which is then used against him in February when they do just that.) January 2017: The inauguration showdown. Any reports to Trump’s contrary that his inauguration was not the most widely attended were considered “fake news.”
edented moment. There’s no context for this—there are all these norms that are breaking down, and I think (Preet) is one of the very few people who can provide context to that, and is willing to do so publicly,” said Pineapple Media co-founder Max Linsky. Pineapple Media has hosted shows like the serially interesting and controversial, “Missing Richard Simmons,” and Linsky himself co-hosted a podcast with Hillary Clinton last year. But Linsky doesn’t see Bharara’s podcast editorandpublisher.com
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February 2017: Trump’s press conference to announce the new labor secretary turned into a stunning 77-minute back and forth about reporters. Highlights included asking a black reporter if she could set up a meeting between Trump and the Black Congressional Caucus after she asked if he was going to discuss his plans for the cities with them. March 2017: During a press briefing, Sean Spicer loses his cool and tells White House reporter April Ryan to stop shaking her head while they go back and forth about Russia. The last few months, reports about the Trump team’s interactions with Russia prior to the election continue to trickle out, and the White House becomes even more defensive. April 2017: Marking his first 100 days in office, the president continued his rally against the “fake news” and “out of touch” journalists. The White House Correspondent’s dinner takes place, despite the president’s absence. July 2017: Sean Spicer announces his resignation, and Anthony Scaramucci is named the new White House director of communications. Ten days later, Scaramucci is given the boot. Sarah Huckabee Sanders remains as press secretary. September 2017: Sarah Huckabee Sanders calls for ESPN host Jemele Hill to be fired for calling the president a white supremacist. October 2017: Trust in the media has improved while trust in the president has dipped slightly. A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll found 48 percent of Americans have a great deal or “some” confidence in the press, up from last November’s rating of 39 percent. The opposite has been true for the president: 52 percent of Americans had great or some confidence in the president when he was elected in November, which dipped to 48 percent in September.
as a way of circumventing the traditional media routes, but more like a complementary add-on. “I think it’s the same thing we’re seeing in media all over the place—which is Preet is able to have this podcast, it allows him to do what he wants, to have the conversations he wants on his own platform and on his own terms,” Linsky said. “Certainly the guy has some interesting conversations to be had, and the success that the show had had early on shows the interest
people have...it’s evidence that he can find an audience without having to go through traditional media channels, but it’s not like he’s doing it out of his basement.” But a barrier for low entry doesn’t mean the payoff has to be low, too. This new media has taken a page out of the “old” media’s notes and delved into the world of subscribers. “El Chapo Traphouse” is a podcast who has fans like Green Greenwald, featuring activists with massive Twitter followings, NOVEMBER 2017 | E & P
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What’s In, What’s Out
“The whole point of the Trump administration is to appear combative— that’s what the people voted for.”
reporters with deep dives into information, and it makes nearly $85,000 a month, according to host Patreon. There are podcasts hosted by media stalwarts like WNYC, and then there’s a new business model being tested out—all banking that people will pay for the news they want to hear.
Local Journalism It used to take a record-breaking filibuster or a scandal to get this much coverage of town halls. But following an election where one part of the electorate feels heard and the other feels ignored, coverage of vitriolic town hall meetings—or a lack thereof, has paved the way for local journalists who were long-suffering town hall coverers anyway, to pick up the torch. While local reporters have oft-groaned that local elections are just as important, if not more so, than the national ones, issues like healthcare, gun control and immigration reform have created a groundswell of voices clamoring to be heard by their locally elected official. While the national outlets are following the president’s tweet of the day, local 44 |
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journalists should be seeing how what he says and does affects the regular people, said Quinnipiac University’s director of graduate journalism Richard Hanley. “They should be sticking to local areas and finding out how people in local areas, in their neighborhoods are feeling and thinking about things as the reality of this administration’s policies sink in and are made actionable in terms of reality—not an emotional interpretation—but reality,” he said. Referring to cuts to cancer research and other budgetary measures, Hanley said “The job of the local reporters is to ask how is this going to affect your local hospital? How is this going to affect people in your neighborhood suffering from cancer? Local reporters have a lot to do.”
What’s Out Access Journalism Long gone are the days of reporters playing nicely in the press room. Both the administration and the media have an image to maintain, and those images are in direct opposition with each other. Instances like the White House Correspondents Dinner where the show went on, even without its usual presidential guest showed the conversations will keep happening whether the White House plays or not. An administration that ran on painting the media as dishonest, and a media trying to earn back the trust of the public will not pretend to be friends anytime soon. “The tensions have risen on both sides, and it’s by design,” Hanley said. “The whole point of the Trump administration is to appear combative—that’s what the people voted for. They voted for someone who spoke for them and was combative, so it’s no surprise that the briefing room has turned into a boxing match.” The press, on the other side of the ring,
are fighting to earn the trust of their audiences, and showing they don’t play ball with people who are above facts. “They’re shouting at each other. There’s certainly a lot of sparring—and I don’t know if that’s good for anybody,” Hanley said.
Facts But what’s lost in all the combativeness, tweet-following and fake-news arguments? Facts. In previous elections, websites that stood alone fact-checking statements made in campaigns or on the trail became the new hot thing in journalism—a new add on, a new partnership. Fact checking was the thing, until we had a president in office who could make half the electorate doubt facts with a single tweet. With that went reporters following the tweets, and the trust in facts with it. What good is a website that fact checks what the president has to say if the people who needed to know that information don’t trust the source anyway? That isn’t to say that people don’t want to know the truth. A recent Pew Research Center study found trust in the government is an all-time lows: 20 percent say they trust the government to do what’s right always or most of the time. While a majority of Americans say they are frustrated with their government, there is a time to do reporting that isn’t just a quick fact check, but instead a deep dive into an issue and its impacts. While a quick fact check may make it easy to post as a Facebook response in a thread of arguments, fewer and fewer people’s minds are being changed by a website that purports to tell them what to believe about the truthfulness of what their president says. Jennifer Swift is the co-founder and editorin-chief of D.C. Witness, a website that tracks every homicide in Washington. Prior to moving to D.C., Jennifer worked for Connecticut magazine as their state politics reporter, and covered multiple topics at the New Haven Register including city hall, education and police. editorandpublisher.com
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FUELING PUBLISHERS AROUND THE WORLD
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MAINSTREAM In search of a healthy future, alt weeklies experiment with stories and revenue strategies By Sharon Knolle
ith the closure of alternative weeklies in Baltimore and Philadelphia—and the Village Voice’s decision to end print publication after 62 years—the past few years have been grim for the once-essential element of the urban media landscape. But like other newspaper publications, alt weeklies around the country are finding new ways to be profitable, including nonprofit funding, specialty publications, and new advertising markets. For this story, E&P talked to editors and publishers at several alt weeklies, including the founder of The Alt, a new weekly based in Albany, N.Y., and the new ownership team at DigBoston about their approach and the vital role that alt weeklies provide in their communities. But first, let’s start with what it means to be an alt weekly. Tim Keck, the founder and publisher of Pulitzer Prize-winning The Stranger in Seattle, said, “I think (alt weeklies) typically are more opinion-based and are more left-leaning. They do literary journalism. They care a lot more about events. They use swear words.” Keck hates the term “alt weekly” though, especially since it no longer applies to The Stranger. The paper just switched from a weekly to a biweekly schedule, based on feedback from readers who wanted a higher-end publication with a longer shelf life. Keck also takes issue with The Stranger being dubbed “alternative.” “I consider us the mainstream. We’re more politically aligned with the city than The Seattle Times is,” he said. “I don’t feel like we’re covering the stories that the Times doesn’t cover. We’re competing on different levels.” He added, “I think calling yourself an ‘alt weekly’ sets you up for failure. If you consider yourself the alternative to the daily paper, you’re dead. ‘Alternative press’ really needs to solve problems for readers and not think about other media in town.” Jason Zaragoza, the executive director of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, explained it this way: “Alt weeklies serve not just as a source for information on local politics and culture, but also as a community bulletin board and a civic forum that connects people to their public officials, local businesses, and one another. As far as I’m concerned, nothing reflects a community better than a copy of the local alt weekly.”
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} Alan Leveritt, Arkansas Times publisher and co-founder
As the Sun Sets in Baltimore, How are Other Alt Weeklies Surviving? Brandon Soderberg took over as editorin-chief earlier this year at City Paper, which is folding at the end of this month after 40 years, a decision that was announced in July by its owner The Baltimore Sun Media Group. The Sun purchased the paper in 2014. “I think we were always really realistic about the state of print media,” said Soderberg. “When we were bought, I thought, ‘Who the hell knows how much time we have?’ It’s a surprise that it came the way it did, so swiftly. But am I surprised that the Sun shut us down? No. I’m still confused as to why they bought us in the first place.” (E&P reached out to the Sun for comment and did not hear back.) Among the red flags since the purchase? Soderberg said that vacant spots took months to fill—if they were filled at all. As for The Village Voice going digital-only, David Howard King, who worked at the Manhattan-based Gotham Gazette for seven years before starting The Alt in Albany, said, “I wasn’t shocked by their decision to cease print. I know some folks who work there and they’ve seen the writing on the wall for quite some time.” 48 |
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} Chris Faraone, DigBoston editor-in-chief and associate publisher
AAN’s Zaragoza said, “Putting out a print publication requires a lot of resources, and so the decision to go digital-only has to take that into account. I do think that a city loses a bit of its soul without the physical presence of an alt weekly on its street corners. That being said, I do think the message is more important than the medium, and so any way to each publication has to determine the best way to reach their audience. In some cases, digital-only may be the answer.” At The Stranger, Keck said advertising is still strong. Their “Savage Love” podcast also brings in revenue, as do their events. In 2010, they took over a local event ticketing company, which put them in a great position to also sell event ads. “It became more and more of a business and now we’re kind of the dominant player in Seattle and Portland. We sell millions of tickets,” Keck said. Like many publications, they also produce a number of specialty publications. Alan Leveritt, who co-founded the Arkansas Times in 1974 and currently serves as publisher, said, “If you’re in the alt weekly business, you’ve got to do more than one thing to keep the doors open. We do events, we do special pubs, we do a metered paywall.” That includes a Spanish-language weekly for the immigrant community in
Little Rock, an outdoor lifestyle magazine, and a bi-annual cycling magazine. “It’s not all doom and gloom, but I’m working harder at 65 than I was at 22,” he said, joking that running an alt weekly is “like being chased by banshees 24/7.” After 47 years, the Boston Phoenix closed its doors in 2013, leaving DigBoston as the only alt weekly in town. Former Phoenix writer Chris Faraone is now editor-in-chief and an associate publisher for DigBoston (affectionately known as The Dig), founded in 1999. After finding an investor, Faraone and the other owners already had their first order of business in mind: Paying off the old debt. In addition to expanding their digital properties and doing more email newsletters, The Dig does custom playbills for local theaters. “In the next six months, we’re going to be doing about a dozen books. We have a couple of big events early next year, so we’re not biting off more than we can chew,” Faraone said.
From Escorts to Weed Increasingly, the once-standard backof-book escort ads are a thing of the past, according to the papers E&P spoke with. “Under my tenure we would never have editorandpublisher.com
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} The Boston Typewriter Orchestra performs at one of Boston Institute of Non-
profit Journalism’s events last year.
such a thing,” Faraone said. “The Dig was actually one of the first to get rid of those more than 10 years ago. The Phoenix had them until the very end.” It was the same at The Alt. “The previous alt weekly in the area saw sex ads run dry 10 years ago,” King said, referring to the Metroland, which folded in 2015. “The Alt doesn’t have any of those sorts of ads.” On the other hand, Baltimore’s City Paper still run the risqué ads. Soderberg said he changed his mind after reading Melissa Gira Grant’s book about sex workers, “Playing the Whore.” “The ‘back pages’ controversy? It’s actually much better to be on the up-and-up than to fall into this problematic netherworld,” he said. So, what’s replacing escort ads? In a word, weed. “The real hope for alts is weed, if weed keeps being legal,” said Soderberg. “Alts are the only place where dispensaries can advertise.” Faraone estimated that cannabis ads make up between 5 and 10 percent of The Dig’s advertising income—and that’s before the dispensaries open in Boston. “I don’t want to be so cannabis-minded, but it’s such an important factor. You’re going to have the markets where there’s weed, and the editorandpublisher.com
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} The Arkansas Times hosts a Whole Hog Roast every year with multiple restaurant teams roasting whole heritage old breed hogs. A little over 400 people attended this year’s event.
markets where there’s not and it’s going to be two different stories. Some people would say I’m exaggerating what the cannabis dollars are going to look like, but I don’t believe that. I don’t see the mainstream warming up to cannabis. You’re not going to be seeing reviews of products (in a daily paper).” At The Stranger, “pot ads are definitely huge,” Keck said. “We’re in Seattle, it’s a legal pot market. We do two Green Guides a year. And the pot ads are even in our highend publications.” But for The Stranger, entertainment ads still bring in more money. In a red state like Arkansas, being the lone progressive voice has its consequences. “We’ve always enjoyed pretty good advertising from the state, and that’s not true anymore,” Leveritt said. “The Times has lost pretty much all of its state advertising. And our other publications have lost ads, simply because they’re associated with The Times.”
Will Nonprofit Funding Be the Turning Point? Faraone, who founded the Boston Institute of Nonprofit Journalism to fund long-form investigative journalism, is seeing other papers adopt the same model. “After I started the nonprofit, I went to talk about it in 2016 at (the AAN) conference, there were
some people interested. And by the time we did the same thing this year, three other cities had started their own,” he said. With Faraone’s blessing, Soderberg cofounded Baltimore’s Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. “We’ve raised a little bit of money and, ideally, we would fund journalism and help people find a place for it. We can’t raise enough money to start a new paper, but we’ve been raising money to create some journalistic projects…Until we can figure out the revenue problem, I’m not sure how you do good journalism over a long period of time,” he said. “I don’t know if nonprofit’s the answer, but I don’t know if advertising is either.” Soderberg intends to keep funding journalism through Baltimore’s nonprofit, even if he doesn’t have his own outlet to place it in. King, who has worked in nonprofit journalism before, said, “I would like to pursue funding for large-scale investigative stories, but overall I’m pretty confident in our traditional approach.” The Stranger’s Keck isn’t so sold on nonprofits as the answer though: “I do have some issues with the model as funding, or that this is a way to save journalism. The focus becomes on pleasing donors, rather than serving readers. I’m not casting NOVEMBER 2017 | E & P
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GOING MAINSTREAM } Pictured is Arkansas Times editor Lindsey Millar, who came up with the metered paywall on Max Brantley’s Arkansas Blog. The rest of the site is free but the blog, which drives much of the website’s traffic, goes behind a wall after 10 or so views a month. It accounts for $120,000 a year.
} Arkansas Times senior editor Max Brantley is the architect of the Arkansas Blog, which accounts for nearly half the website’s 350,000 unique visitors a month.
aspersions on the whole thing. We need journalism. If you can (save journalism jobs) with not-for-profit? Great, do it. For me, I like the challenge, and I like what it means to be connected to readers rather than donors.”
What Does the Future Hold? “How are they doing overall? I think most people would say they’re not doing very well,” Keck said. Although he’s happy with where the The Stranger is, he said, “It feels a little bit dark right now in the world of alt weeklies.” Soderberg, who is captaining the City Paper until it closes, said, “It’s grim because they don’t want to change. I don’t want to critique them too much, because they’re in the same position as us, but they’re caught between the internet and the big newspapers. It’s all a revenue problem. There’s nothing wrong with the journalism we’re doing.” “These are challenging times for all media,” said Zaragoza. “As readers and 50 |
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consumers we have more options than ever on where to spend our limited attention. But when it comes down to it, I think most people crave a connection with the media they consume, and will return again and again to sources they can identify with, that they can trust, and come from a place of authenticity. That’s why I’m optimistic about the future of alt weeklies.” He points to several papers he sees thriving, including The Arkansas Times, C-Ville Weekly, The Inlander in Spokane, Santa Barbara Independent, and Seven Days in Vermont, which, as he mentions, have all been recognized in recent years by E&P in our annual 10 Newspapers That Do It Right feature. In Albany, King said, “Our media circle is so small and insular that we’ve ruffled a lot of feathers and upset the order of things. We quickly provoked the ire of institutional heads who are used to being able to make a call to get a story killed.” He said one of their major struggles is educating people about what alt weeklies do. “We aren’t going to run your press release,
} Jason Zaragoza, Association of Alternative Newsmedia executive director
} Tim Keck, The Stranger founder and publisher
we aren’t going to cover press conferences, we might give things bad reviews, you don’t get to read and edit the story before we publish it. So the idea that we do real journalism has shocked some folks. We’ve had to spend an inordinate amount of time getting through to advertisers that they are paying to be seen because people read our articles and not because we are going to write about them.” To really succeed, collaboration seems to be the key to building a strong future. “There are more than 100 papers that are part of AAN, and we get together once or twice a year. We share ideas and every year there’ll be a couple collaborations,” said The Dig’s Faraone. “We need to be doing more of that. We’re all thinking about sharing and networking. Those lines of communication are more open than I’ve ever seen them. There are just a lot of good ideas out there, and there’s no one solution because all of our markets are different. It has to not just be about your newspaper. The closer that the remaining community-minded journalism outlets are, the better they’re going to be.” editorandpublisher.com
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By Sean Stroh firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Bhatia has been named editor of the Detroit Free Press. For the past two years, Bhatia served as editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer and regional editor for the USA Today Network’s Ohio region. Prior to joining the Enquirer, Bhatia was the director of the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State’s Cronkite School of Journalism.
Kayla Castille has been promoted to senior vice president of content and digital operations of Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. She joined CNHI more than six years ago, and most recently served as vice president for content development. In her expanded role, she will also be responsible for driving digital subscriptions, developing apps and using data to better engage readers. Neil Brown has been named president of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Most recently, Brown served as editor and publisher of the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times. He has worked at the Times, formerly known as the St. Petersburg Times, since 1993. Brown succeeds Tim Franklin, who was named senior associate dean at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism earlier this year. John Boogert has been named news director of the Colorado Springs (Colo.) Gazette. Most recently, Boogert served as executive editor of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa. Boogert was previously an editor at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle and the Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, Colo. Tom Cullinan has retired as publisher and president of the San Luis Obispo Tribune editorandpublisher.com
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and Fresno Bee in California. Cullinan had worked at the Bee since 1984 and led the Tribune for the past two years. He was promoted to publisher and president of the Bee in 2012. Joe Bailey has been promoted to sports editor for Lee Central Coast Newspapers in California. For the past five years, Bailey has served as assistant sports editor. He joined LCCN as a sports reporter in 2010. Bailey succeeds Elliott Stern, who was named senior sports reporter for the newspaper group. Mark Cohen has been named president of the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association and its related advertising agency, MANSI Media. Most recently, Cohen served as publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio. He started his career as a sales executive at the Cincinnati (Ohio) Enquirer. He also has worked for Thomson Newspapers, GateHouse Media and Pioneer News Group. Dan Sarko has been named vice president of sales at The News Journal in Wilmington, Del. In his new role, Sarko will oversee the sales teams at both the Journal and The Daily Times in Salisbury, Md. Prior to joining the Journal, Sarko served as vice president of digital and national sales for the Philadelphia Media Network. Dave Boden has been named general manager of The Garrett County Republican in Oakland, Md. He joined NCWV Media, parent company of the Republican, as an ad-
vertising consultant earlier this year. Prior to that, Boden served as publisher of the Daily Courier in Connellsville, Pa. and Leader Times in Kittanning, Pa. Vera Hogan has been named associate editor of the Tri-County Times in Fenton, Mich. During her first stint at the paper, Hogan worked as a freelance reporter, staff reporter, associate editor and editor. Hogan rejoined the Times two years ago as a staff reporter. She also briefly worked at the Flint (Mich.) Journal. Cathy Cavender has been named vice president/ managing editorial director of Athlon Special Interest Media. In her new role, she will oversee more than 60 issues within the decorating, gardening and women’s lifestyle group, as well as special interest magazines. Cavender will also collaborate across AMG/Parade’s consumer marketing, editorial, circulation, finance and production/manufacturing departments. John Anderson has been named managing editor of the Batavia Daily News in New York. Anderson most recently served as a regional editor for GateHouse Media, overseeing the Hornell (N.Y.) Evening Tribune, Wellsville (N.Y.) Daily Reporter, Genesee Country Express in Dansville, N.Y. and Sunday Spectator in Wellsville, N.Y. He also spent nine years as Allegany County bureau chief for the Olean (N.Y.) Times Herald. Beth and Clay Neely have been named publishers of The Newnan Times-Herald in Georgia. Beth Neely’s family has owned the paper since 1936. Her husband, Clay, has been part of the Times-Herald’s news staff for the past four years. The Neelys succeed Walter Jones, who had served as publisher since 2016. The Financial Times has announced four editorial appointments in its newsroom. NOVEMBER 2017 | E & P
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NewsPeople ACQUISITIONS/MERGERS Paperbag Media has purchased the Aspen Daily News from Dave Danforth. The company is co-owned by David Cook, the paper’s acting publisher and former general manager. Paperbag Media also owns the Aspen 82 TV station. The newspaper’s current staff will remain under the new ownership group. Danforth had owned the Daily News for the past 39 years. Hearst has acquired a pair of daily newspapers in Illinois from Civitas Media. The papers involved in the deal include the Alton Telegraph and Jacksonville Journal-Courier. Hearst currently owns 24 dailies and 64 weeklies throughout the country. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Carpenter Newsmedia, LLC, an affiliate of Boone Newspapers Inc., has acquired three newspapers in Kentucky and Tennessee from Civitas Media. The publications involved in the deal include the Middlesboro (Ky.) Daily News, Harlan (Ky.) Enterprise and Clairborne Progress in Tazewell, Tenn. Bill Sharp will remain as publisher of the three papers. Mortimer Zuckerman has sold the New York Daily News to Tronc. The paper had been owned by Zuckerman since 1993. As part of the deal, Tronc purchased the paper for $1 in exchange for the assumption of operational and pension liabilities believed to be in the tens of millions of dollars. Tronc will also take over the paper’s printing plant in Jersey City, N.J. and acquire a partial interest in the property. Tronc owns nine daily publications including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun. Raycom Media Inc. and Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. have agreed to merge into a new privately owned media group. As part of the agreement, CNHI will operate as a subsidiary of Raycom Media, which owns or operates 65 television and two radio stations in 20 states. CNHI currently owns more than 110 newspapers, websites and niche publications in 22 states. The newspaper properties that overlap with Raycom Media broadcast stations in seven markets will be sold to a third party.
Lyndsey Jones has been appointed executive editor while Pilita Clark has been named business columnist and associate editor. Additionally, Robin Kwong will serve as head of digital delivery and Paul
Murphy will serve as investigations editor. Kevin Corrado has been named publisher of Digital First Media newspapers in New York and Massachusetts. His responsibilities
Skye Pournazari has been named managing editor of the Maryville (Mo.) Daily Forum. She previously served as a designer with Missouri Lawyers Media Group in Kansas City. Prior to that, Pournazari spent a decade as assistant news editor of the St. Joseph (Mo.) News Press. She also was a reporter, photographer and designer at the Warrensburg (Mo.) Daily Star Journal.
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in New York include the Oneida Daily Dispatch, The Saratogian in Saratoga Springs, The Troy Record and The Daily Freeman in Kingston. In Massachusetts, he will lead The Lowell Sun and Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg. Corrado had served as publisher of DFM publications in Connecticut until they were sold to Hearst earlier this year. Jeff Pownall has been named managing editor of the Lufkin Daily News in Texas. He had served as interim managing editor since May. Prior to that, Pownall was news editor of the paper for 30 years. He started his career with the paper working in the sports department. Darel LaPrade has been named publisher of the Delaware State News. LaPrade has worked for the paper’s parent company, Independent Newsmedia Inc., for more than 20 years. Prior to joining the company, he was general manager of Atlantic Publications, overseeing 15 newspapers in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. In addition, Marty Valania has been appointed director of advertising. He previously served as director of sales development. Stacia King has been named publisher of the Starkville (Miss.) Daily News. She previously served as general manager and regional advertising director for the River Valley Media Group in La Crosse, Wis. King also spent time as advertising and digital sales director for Mississippi Media and the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss. Jeff Simpson has been named president and publisher of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah. Simpson previously served as president and CEO of Bonneville International Corp. He also founded Excel Entertainment Group, a regional media company editorandpublisher.com
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NewsPeople Houston Chronicle and The Denver Post. Curt Jacobi has been named vice president of advertising for The Beaufort (S.C.) Gazette and The Island Packet in Hilton Head Island, S.C. He joined the Packet and Gazette in 2002 and most recently served as the papers’ strategic sales manager. Jacobi succeeds Bryan Osborn, who was named senior director of small to medium business digital strategy for McClatchy.
that distributes independent music, film and video. Simpson later became Deseret Book’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. Mike Kuhns has been named executive editor of the Pocono Record in Stroudsburg, Pa. Since May, he had served as interim executive editor. Kuhns joined the paper as a sports writer in 1999 before being named sports editor two years later. He began his career as a sports reporter at the New Jersey Herald in Newton. Dave Braton has retired as publisher of The Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune. He first joined the Tribune in 2000 as director of sales before serving in various leadership roles at the Beatrice (Neb.) Daily Sun, Waterloo-Cedar Falls (Iowa) Courier and Courier Communications. Braton returned to the Tribune as publisher last year. He began his career at The Fargo (N.D.) Forum. Jennifer Allen has been promoted to general manager of the Hot Springs (Ark.) Village Voice. She will also oversee the Daily Siftings Herald, Nevada County Picayune, Gurdon Times and Hope Star in Arkansas. Allen has served as regional advertising director of 13 GateHouse newspapers in Arkansas since 2013. Angee Norman has been named general manager/publisher of The Bastrop (La.) editorandpublisher.com
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Daily Enterprise. In her new role, she will be responsible for leading the paper, developing new business opportunities and creating customized solutions for customers. She previously held positions at the Colorado Springs (Colo.) Gazette, Orange County (Calif.) Register and The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif. Christopher Cole has been named editor of the Franklin News-Post in Rocky Mount, Va. Most recently, he served as a reporter at the Lynchburg (Va.) News & Advance. Cole began his career as a business and political reporter at the Bradenton (Fla.) Herald. Cole later became editor and publisher of the Citizen News in Edgefield County, S.C. Justin Conn has been named sports editor of the Herald & Review in Decatur, Ill. Conn joined the paper 10 years ago as a sports writer. He later covered healthcare and the Decatur Park District. Conn began his career at the Macomb (Ill.) Journal. He succeeds Mike Albright, who left the paper earlier this year. Stacey Sedbrook has been named vice president of digital at The Kansas City Star. She previously served as senior vice president for strategic sales at BIA/Kelsey in Washington D.C. Sedbrook has also held online sales management positions for several newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News,
Kevin Brown has been named news editor of the Journal-Eureka in Anamosa, Iowa. Most recently, Brown served as niche/special section and online content editor for Hometown News Group in Sun Prairie, Wis. He also worked at the Clarinda (Iowa) Herald-Journal. Brown succeeds Bill Cooney, who accepted a position at the Kalona (Iowa) News. Matt Gibson has been named general manager of three Lee Enterprises’ newspapers in Montana. In his new role, Gibson will oversee the Missoulian, Missoula Independent and Ravalli Republic in Hamilton. He has been publisher of the Independent since 1997 and served as owner of the publication when it was purchased by Lee Enterprises earlier this year. He started his career as a reporter for the Livingston (Mont.) Enterprise. Alizah Salario has been named arts and entertainment director for NYCNow.com. The website serves as a funnel for Straus Media’s arts and entertainment coverage in its Manhattan based print newspapers: Our Town, The Eastsider, The West Side Spirit, The Westsider, Our Town Downtown, The Downtowner, The Chelsea News and The Chelsea Clinton News. Salario will also work with local arts groups and individual artists to curate neighborhood events on the site. Robert Moore has resigned as editor of the El Paso Times in Texas. He had been serving his second stint as editor of the paper since 2011. Moore first joined the Times in 1986 as night city editor. He later served as metro editor, assistant managing editor, managing editor and executive editor.
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Companies that provide publishing leaders products and services that help save time, generate new revenue models and strengthen existing ones. E&P Directory-Leverage:E&P Directory Ad-Leverage 7/11/17 3:10 PM Page 1
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Give your company Vision Data’s
“Soup-to-Nuts” Advantage! For over 40 years, Vision Data has been dedicated to hiring and retaining the best people and fostering an atmosphere of industry-leading innovation, while building our solid history of growth, without the need for merger or acquisition. By providing for publishers’ changing needs with the development and advancement of our complete suite of dynamic internally developed software applications. The result of our unified approach to development, backed by the industry’s best service and user support, mean huge benefits for today’s progressive publisher; a complete “Soup-to-Nuts” menu of coordinated sales, customer service, business and production applications:
Online VisionWeb tool suite: • Revenue-building user-friendly Web customer service screens for subscribers, carriers, dealers, classified and retail advertisers; all driven directly by our base systems, designed to build income while saving time and reducing staff costs. Included advertising search engine creates more sales.
• Single database, single screen entry for classified, retail, on-line, preprints, special
packages, etc. Campaign management suite, CRM, E-tears, auto proof email, etc. Total advertising functionality in a single application. Remote browser-accessed account management for outside sales reps connects directly to order entry, ad tracking, accounting, reporting, enabling full instant functionality from the field including artwork submission by rep or customer.
• Impeccable complete accounts receivable reporting and management. • Optional accounts payable/general ledger availability. Technological Innovation: Vision Data constantly re-invests in innovation and development. Our experienced staff has excellent skills in managing accounting and circulation, as well as flowing and controlling ads. We are constantly developing revenue modules that add to your sales packages. Our VisionWeb suite team is second to none in the industry and is dedicated to keeping Vision Data on the cutting edge of that technology.
Configuration Options: Vision Data “Soup-to-Nuts” packages are available in various configurations: In addition to locally-hosted server configurations, we offer both IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service - Vision Data hosted) and SaaS (Software as a Service - leased access) system configurations, both of which save you the cost and manpower of installing and managing your own server.
Large Customer Base: We have a large base of over 2,000 publications made up of a good mix of privately owned newspapers and newspaper groups. We have continually grown our base at a manageable rate , aided by our reputation for outstanding customer service and attention to customer needs. We take great pride in our history of customer retention.
“Soup-to-Nuts” Ongoing Support Pricing: By investing in Vision Data’s “Soup-toNuts” systems, you can also lower your ongoing support costs by replacing multiple vendor support charges with a singled “Packaged” support charge. Publishers investing in the total Vision Data “Soup-to-Nuts” package can save over fifty percent from the cost of multiple support packages.
Competitive Pricing: When we believe a publication is a good fit for Vision Data’s userbase (built over 40 years of steady growth) we can be very aggressive with pricing. We are privately-owned and no one can touch our low overhead .
For outstanding overall performance, simplicity of operation, vendor reputation, ongoing relations & support, innovation, and the cost of implementation, you should definitely consider Vision Data as your next system.
• Circulation management system for today’s print, digital, TMC and blended
subscription models. Management dashboard instantly displays and compares data, CASS certification, postal reporting, remote access for account or route management, EZ Pay, user-friendly CSR, full accounting and reporting.
• User-friendly Classified Pagination/Publication Layout for Quark or InDesign. • Ad-Tracking functionality streamlines and manages ad creation, proofing, etc. Cut costs, track production time, reduce makegoods with this powerful tool.
Contact us today . . .
Reach Decision Makers Is Explaining Your New-media Business to Newspaper Executives a Constant Challenge?
Rapid and continuous technology changes make it tough for publishing executives to keep current with products and services provided by new-media companies. Our readers constantly ask if we would create a directory, listing new-media companies and outlining how they benefit newspapers. Newspaper industry decision makers are looking to simplify their lives, and our new business directory will help publishers better understand the products and services you sell. To advertise in E&P’s Business Directory, please contact:
E&P Sales (949) 660-6150, ext. 214 email@example.com
Archive In A Box Phone: 360-427-6300 Website: www.ArchiveInABox.com Who We Are: We specialize in making digital copies (scans) of your printed newspapers and bound volume archives which you can store online and access from any device. • Our service includes everything — shipping & logistics, high resolution scanning, digital copies, hard drives, and online hosting. • We work on your schedule and budget with no contract commitment — scan in batches, and pay-as-you-go. • You exclusively own and control the original scans and all copies. No partnership is required. How will you benefit? As the steward of your community’s published history, you know the value of your printed newspaper archive. Don’t wait — begin your digitization before you suffer a loss! • Digital copies preserve your archive, and effectively nullify physical loss. • Your bound volume, loose, and microfilm materials can be digitized. • Fully searchable. • Integrate with your existing PDF archive. Case studies and testimonials Please visit our website for complete details: www.ArchiveInABox.com
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CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING Phone: 800-887-1615
Appraisers / Brokers
Appraisers / Brokers
APPRAISALS Newspapers • Magazines • Shoppers Book Publishing
BUSINESS EDITOR: KPC Media Group Inc. is seeking an editor to oversee the production of a newspaper in northeast Indiana in print and online. The role is one that requires an organized multitasker who is sociable, deadline driven and has a general interest in data-driven news, community-based journalism and local industries and topics. The editor will be expected to get involved in the community outside the oﬃce and represent the publication and company at various events and engagements. The editor will serve as a mentor and resource to a team of reporters. The editor will be a working editor, writing stories weekly as well as editing reporters’ material and coordinating coverage. The editor will be responsible for overseeing the publication’s website in terms of news content, ensure and maintain an active social media presence and coordinate the production of a daily newsletter.
Proud to be the expert media financial valuation resource for FORBES 400 List of America’s Richest People 2017, 2016 and 2015 Discover the current value of your publishing entity!
The editor will work closely with other KPC Media Group Inc. editors to support, promote and build news coverage across the company.
Confidential • Customized • Comprehensive
To apply, please submit your resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org and list “Editor” in the subject line.
EXPERT COURT VALUATION WITNESS Testimony • Depositions • Declarations Follow us at www.twitter.com/kamengroup
• Custom Brokering For Media Organizations • Print & Digital Media Valuations & Business Plans • Book Publishing, Video, Direct, Interactive, B2B, Listing & Database Valuations email@example.com
KAMEN & CO. GROUP SERVICES (516)379-2797 • 626 RXR Plaza, Uniondale, NY 11556
The ideal candidate has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism or equivalent experience, at least seven years of industry experience, excellent problem solving skills and at least two years of management experience. The candidate should have a solid understanding of AP style, Excel and social media. Skills in photography, videography, InDesign and Photoshop are a plus. KPC Media is a family-owned company oﬀering competitive pay and beneﬁts. EOE/Drug free workplace CITY EDITOR: The Longview News-Journal is seeking an experienced City Editor to lead its team of multimedia reporters covering East Texas. The ideal candidate has a digital-ﬁrst approach, a desire to always beat the competition and understands how to prepare stories for various platforms. This post requires solid news judgment, excellent organizational and planning skills and a clear, direct communication style. Must be a solid line editor who is able to help reporters manage their priorities. The city editor works closely with the digital editor to advance the News-Journal’s online and social media presence. He/she also owns relationships with news teams at two sister papers and the News-Journal’s news partners. As part of the newsroom leadership team, the city editor reports to the managing editor and editor. Applicants should have at least a bachelor’s degree in journalism, new media or equivalent work or internship experience and a minimum of three years of experience in a news management role. To apply, please send your resume, cover letter, clips of published work demonstrating your ability to fulﬁll the requirements of the job and your salary requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants must be able to successfully complete a background check and drug screen. EOE/M/F/V/D.
Kevin B. Kamen, President/CEO
“I’m extremely pleased with the fantastic results we receive from advertising in E&P.” - Kevin B. Kamen, Kamen & Co. Group Services
Publications For Sale
Publications For Sale
NYC WEEKLY NEWSPAPER new to market, Myrtle Beach/Charleston, SC coupon books, women’s & tourist magazines, Long Island, NY Horse Magazine for enthusiasts, New Mexico (Sierra County) Weekly Newspaper, Kansas City & Chicago glossy cultural Magazines, National Broadcast/Publishing Annual Directory, National Angler/Outdoors Magazine, Honolulu Book Pub Co. email@example.com. 516-379-2797, www.kamengroup.com.
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DIRECTOR/SINGLE COPY SALES: Looking for a career? The Houston Chronicle, owned by Hearst, has built thousands during the last 130 years. Since 1887, we have grown from a single newspaper into one of the world’s most admired private media and information companies with over 360 businesses in more than 150 countries. Still growing, the Houston Chronicle recently added 23 publications to it’s stable of titles. We are investing in our future, so why not invest in yours and join our success. The Houston Chronicle is seeking a highlymotivated individual who is pursuing an opportunity to excel in single copy sales at the 4th largest metro newspaper in the country. The position: Director/Single Copy, is a full-time management position within a progressive consumer centric, circulation department. This position is responsible for developing and implementing strategies designed to maximize single copy revenue. The candidate: Will have an extensive background in single copy sales and a proven track record working with large distributors. The candidate will have the ability to successfully communicate with all levels of the organization and build upon relationships with key retailers in the market. Interested: Call Joe Braunschweig, VP/Consumer Operations, at 713-362-7646 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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DIGITAL SALES DIRECTOR: Large newspaper in the south is seeking a Digital Sales Director. This position provides oversight for all digital sales initiatives, while also having direct sales supervision for the digital sales team. The Digital Sales Director reports directly to the V.P. of Advertising.
LOCAL RETAIL/NATIONAL SALES MANAGER: The primary responsibility of the Sales Manager is to increase print and digital advertising revenues by actively engaging with MMSE’s in ﬁeld calls, client visits and overall revenue driving activities. This position directly aﬀects and is responsible for achieving or exceeding print and digital revenue in the market.
• Directs the sales of all digital products while developing programs and ideas to increase digital advertising volume. • Work with other supervisors and managers to ensure that digital product initiatives are launched, sold, and tracked. • Works closely with direct reports to provide training and guidance aimed at exceeding revenue targets and project initiatives.
• Consistently meets/exceeds all print and digital revenue targets • Demonstrates expert knowledge and understanding of all GateHouse Media sales and marketing assets, including all newspaper products, digital products and digital marketing services (Propel) and able to transfer the knowledge to direct reports • Follows GateHouse prescribed best practices on Pipeline Management and Gap Analysis, reviews all required sales process activities and provides direction and feedback to increase closing ratios • Reviews market activities to develop new business by understanding customer needs and selling products and services that provide value to the customer • Drives customer retention through excellent customer service and in person visits • Eﬀectively communicates with management to provide accurate revenue forecasts and market intelligence that may impact revenue (+/-) • Ensures that the team consistently meets and/or exceeds revenue goals. Always aware of performance to goal; measures sales executive performance by revenue to goal, quarterly and annually. Ensures that high levels of performance are always top of mind • Holds staﬀ accountable to revenue goals, objectives, KPIs and other metrics. Creates eﬀective formal activity metrics for staﬀ • Spends signiﬁcant time with MMSEs visiting customers in the ﬁeld with the purpose of deepening account relationships; uses these opportunities to coach staﬀ
NECESSARY KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES: • Train and coach personnel on digital advertising strategy and products • Collaborate with sales leadership to develop and execute digital packages and solutions • Measure, grow and exceed digital sales and market share goals • Analyze and provide necessary sales reports, market analysis and identify growth opportunities for digital assets • Excellent interpersonal, communication and professional presentation skills. • Strong organizational skills and ability to prioritize projects with multiple and competing deadlines. EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: • Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university or equivalent experience in online media sales management environment preferred. • Three or more years of previous leadership experience within a sales/customer service environment. • Proven successful sales performance/sales leadership background. WHAT WE OFFER: Competitive pay and earning potential. (Income range of $125,000 – $150,000+ depending on experience). Medical, Dental & Vision Insurance available. 401K. Vacation & Holiday Pay. Interested candidates should send resume, cover letter and salary requirements to: email@example.com DISTRIBUTION DIRECTOR: A Texas newspaper is seeking a Distribution Director to join our winning team. This position is responsible for the distribution of all print products including home delivery, single copy and alternate delivery products. Two key components for this position include: • Responsible for implementing strategies to support home delivery and single copy revenue, with a major focus on subscriber delivery satisfaction. • Manage ﬁnancial and distribution performance metrics, ensuring the eﬃcient distribution of products and proﬁtability of independent contractors. Qualiﬁed candidates will have an extensive background in newspaper distribution and a proven track record for excellent customer service. Please reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org. EDITOR: The Barnstable Patriot, a weekly newspaper with a strong community news tradition, seeks an editor to help grow print readers. The position will lead the newsroom, generate story ideas, cultivate sources, write news and feature topics, and manage staﬀ. The editor is responsible to provide vision and leadership to continually improve the journalistic quality standards, operate within budget and oversee issues of fairness and objectivity. The Barnstable Patriot is pursuing excellence and innovation in print, online and multimedia. We are looking for a self-motivated professional with solid journalism experience, reﬁned news judgment, and the interest and drive to take this newspaper to new levels. Strong writing and reporting skills required. Interest in community aﬀairs is essential. Some night meeting and weekend coverage required. Come work and play at a cutting-edge and growing newspaper in a beautiful corner of America. Requirements: • A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or related ﬁeld • 3-5 years experience writing or editing at a weekly or daily print publication • Strong editing and headline-writing skills • Knowledge of social media strategies • Knowledge of editorial page design Send a cover letter and resume with references, along with at least ﬁve work samples to HR@capecodonline.com. Barnstable Patriot is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values the beneﬁts of diversity in our workplace.
Position Requiremants: • Knowledge of competitive media landscape; use for new business development and sales analysis • Ability to coach and develop cold calling and other prospecting techniques including social media where applicable • Highly motivated, self-starting individual with initiative and drive to succeed through others • Ability to close new business and lead a team to exceed sales targets • Successful track record of pushing past rejection and achieving results, and coaching others to do so • Strong verbal and written communication skills with the ability to build and deliver eﬀective presentations • Strong networking and community involvement skills Equal Employment Opportunity The Herald-Tribune encourages applications from those with diverse backgrounds. The Herald-Tribune is a DRUG FREE environment. For consideration email resume and cover letter to email@example.com. PUBLISHER/REVENUE DIRECTOR: Oregon’s North Coast beckons! Located in picturesque Astoria, OR, at the junction of the Columbia River and the Paciﬁc Ocean, EO Media Group is seeking a forward-thinking professional to lead multiple publications and digital platforms. This area is a mix of commercial ﬁshing and cruise ships, nature and the arts, a rich history and the Goonies. Our Publisher and Revenue Director will be a hands-on leader to inspire the advertising sales team and lead the management team. You must be knowledgeable about all departments, have a track record of sales growth balanced with expense management and a desire to engage with our communities. Products include a Monday through Friday daily, a weekly, two bi-weeklies and a monthly magazine, plus specialty publications. Our digital media Marketplace has won national awards and is poised for growth. We’ve invested in the best software available with a strong CRM to help you lead. Comprehensive beneﬁts include paid time oﬀ (PTO), insurances and a 401(k)/Roth 401(k) retirement plan. Send resume and letter of interest including salary requirements and why you want to grow with us to EO Media Group, P.O. Box 2048, Salem, OR 97308-2048 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
I f y ou ar e r eading this , so ar e y our p ot en tial cust omers! To advertise, call 1-800-887-1615 NOVEMBER 2017 | E & P
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shoptalk /commentary Major Brands Blacklisting Media is Detrimental to Publishers By Rusty Coats
lacklisting all news sites is detrimental to the duties of the local press: to serve the public without fear or favor. Local news is a business, yes. It also is a mission, and a public good. Informing and engaging the citizens of the United States was so hallowed by our founding fathers that the rights extended to it came first, before all other protections. By blacklisting certain media sites, media buyers are essentially stifling those news sites’ freedom of speech. Yet this is precisely the notion raised in a recent Digiday article, “Brands are now blacklisting mainstream news sites, including Fox News.” Whether widespread or not, lumping all news into the same bucket as, say, the hundreds of fake-news sites being run out of wired shipping containers by either hostile countries or organized crime concerns—or, if you’re old-school, supermarket tabloids—is loathsome. Local media sites serve their communities. We live next door to our viewers and subscribers. We go to ballgames and churches and ale houses with our audience. We live here. Advertisers who blacklist local media sites not only harm local media outlets’ ability to conduct business, they also harm their ability to get positive brand exposure among millions of consumers in Middle America. Studies show that consumers trust their local news more so than they do national news sources or the general internet population as a whole. A 2016 Gallup poll found that 62 percent of respondents trust local news media more than national, whereas only 38 percent trust national news sources more. Further, a comprehensive analysis of consumer behavior conducted by marketing analytics company Jumpshot found that these local news websites are as much as six times more likely than the general web population to reach engaged consumers in the retail, automo-
tive, real estate and travel spaces. We hear a lot from agencies wanting verification of viewability, human and third-party verification and raw impact/engagement metrics from ads that run on our sites. So it’s ironic that several major agencies continue to flood our programmatic channels with malicious advertisements that take over our users’ mobile screens, screaming of viruses and security hacks. For the reputable brands and news outlets truly seeking to associate themselves with the highest quality content and inventory, technological advances abound to offer protection. Viewability companies offer cutting-edge services that help ensure digital publishers serve the highest possible quality, offering tools to protect against invalid traffic. On the buy side, technology leaders such as Google offer tools and systems available to publishers to block ads from showing up by page or keyword so brands can dictate which pages or sections they want to avoid having their ads associated with so a reputable brand’s ad doesn’t end up next to white supremacist content. Concerns around inappropriate content can be mitigated and managed by demand side platforms (DSPs) in a much more surgical manner than blacklisting media altogether. For instance, the Google Display Network spans more than 2 million websites that reach more than 90 percent of people on the internet, enabling brands to use Adwords to drive brand awareness across a broad range of sties—local news included—and to target specific audiences actively shopping for a product or service. Brands and the media outlets on which they advertise have many controls available to them to limit or adjust where their ads appear. Google also offers placement exclusions that allow advertisers to specify pages, sites, mobile app and video that they wish to exclude from their campaigns. They
can also utilize topic exclusions to prevent their ads from running on inventory about certain subjects. For example, a brand can exclude politics as a topic from their campaign or any of its subtopics (e.g. leftwing politics, right-wing politics, campaign and elections, opinion and commentary or political polls and surveys). Today’s technology enables brands to tap the credibility and reach of the local media to reach target audiences, which is why I’m hopeful that blacklisting media sites is not a widespread occurrence. Teresa Blahnik, associate director of programmatic at Centro, an audience extension solutions provider, concurs. She notes that “regardless of how a brand feels about any news topic, they recognize that targeted audiences go to brand-name media sites that have very engaging content. However, there may be cases where a brand doesn’t want ads to be served next to a specific content vertical (‘politics,’ for example), or articles that contain sensitive keywords. Knowledgeable marketer would apply brand safety measures immediately to avoid these specific areas.” Digital media is an evolving space and the dance between the buy side and the sell side always has been that—a dance. It’s symbiotic and essential and clunky. And when one side thinks it has overmatched power over the other, both sides suffer, and the only real gain is an overstuffed margin on one side and undeserved value on the consumer. Instead of stamping your foot, step up and sway to the beat.
Rusty Coats is executive director of the Local Media Consortium, a strategic partnership of more than 75 leading local media companies representing more than 1,700 news sites across the United States.
Printed in the USA. Vol. 150, No 11, EDITOR & PUBLISHER (ISSN: 0013-094X, USPS: 168-120) is published 12 times a year. Regular issues are published monthly by Duncan McIntosh Co. Inc., 18475 Bandilier Circle, Fountain Valley, CA, 92708-7000; Editorial and Advertising (949) 660-6150. Periodicals postage paid at Fountain Valley, CA 92708, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Please send address changes to: EDITOR & PUBLISHER. P.O. Box 25859, Santa Ana, CA 92799-5859. Copyright 2017, Duncan McIntosh Co. Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Subscription Price: U.S. and its possessions, $99.00 per year, additional postage for Canada & foreign countries $20.00 per year. Single copy price $8.95 in the U.S. only; Back issues, $12.95 (in the U.S. only) includes postage and handling. Canada Post: Publication Mail Agreement No. 40612608. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Bleuchip International, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 682. Subscriber Services (888) 732-7323; Customer Service Email: email@example.com.
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No matter how far you want to go, we can help get you there At SYNC2 Media, we can partner with you to provide data, email blasts and other digital white-label services. Built by newspapers. Powered by newspapers. For newspaper media.
Powered by the Colorado Press
Website: sync2media.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 303-571-5117
A REQUEST TO FASHION EDITORS, ADVERTISERS, COPYWRITERS AND OTHERS REGARDING MISUSE OF THE
is a registered trademark, protected in the U.S. and overseas. Use of the word CHANEL should mean that the products concerned—whether fragrance, makeup, skincare, watches, ready-to-wear, couture, fine jewelry or accessories—come from the House of CHANEL. So please remember: Never use CHANEL generically. Although our style is justly famous, a jacket is not ‘a CHANEL jacket’ unless it is ours, and our name should not be used to describe someone else’s design, as in ‘CHANEL for now.’ Please do not misuse our trademark in such ways as CHANEL-ism, CHANEL-ed or by describing a garment as being a CHANEL-type, CHANEL-like, CHANEL-style or CHANEL-ified. If a garment comes from CHANEL, then it is a CHANEL garment and can be referred to as such; if not, the word CHANEL should not be used at all. Our lawyers insist that our trademark be fully respected, and we take that very seriously. Thank you, , Inc.
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