It’s kind of a softball interview, but Jody Hope Strogoff’s talk with Dean Singleton, Denver Post publisher and MediaNews Group CEO (“Innerview” in the Colorado Statesman) is worth reading for Singleton’s surprisingly candid remarks toward the end about the Rocky Mountain News, his Multiple Sclerosis, and his home and family. And this about MediaNews’s paid content strategy:
You’re going to see less and less newsroom-generated copy online and more and more copy generated specifically for online. And we’re doing this company-wide. It’s not just Denver.
We’re going to move away from giving away our news content online for free — give a small amount of it away, and then air that out with reader-generated copy, with user-generated copy, with listings and other things online. We’re planning to make our online offerings much different than our print offerings….
Newspapers believed that if you build it they would come — that if we threw all of our content online, we’d build this huge audience, and advertisers would flock to it.
Well, we built a huge audience and advertisers flocked to it, except the Internet is so competitive. There’s so much inventory on so many sites that the price of Internet advertising is so low that you can’t make the kind of money on it that you can in print.
Yet, we were sending our best customers to the Web for free.
We will be moving away from giving away most of our content online. We will be redoing our online to appeal certainly to a younger audience than the print does, but we’ll have less and less newspaper-generated content and more and more information listings and user-generated content.