Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
As giant platforms rise, local news is getting crushed
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
May 31, 2009, 2:05 p.m.

A candid interview with Dean Singleton

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.

POSTED     May 31, 2009, 2:05 p.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
As giant platforms rise, local news is getting crushed
The quest for scale, driven by the distribution power of a few enormous technology platforms, is killing the business case for local news. Will anything take its place?
Hot Pod: The podcast collective Radiotopia has a new leader
“I keep hearing stories about her being a great mentor to many a young fledgling producer. To me, that willingness to actively think about the next generation of producers is shorthand for proper leadership.”
Building a j-school from scratch: How The New School aims to bring journalism and design together
“I’m not so much interested in specific skills as dispositions. Are we helping people be able to learn really fast, so when things do change they can move with it without completely freaking out?”
What to read next
2569
tweets
The New York Times built a Slack bot to help decide which stories to post to social media
The bot, named Blossom, helps predict how stories will do on social and also suggests which stories editors should promote.
1287Jo Ellen Green Kaiser: Do independent news outlets have a blind spot when it comes to ethnic media?
The head of the Media Consortium argues that, by defining themselves in opposition to mainstream media, independent progressive outlets miss out on the power of ethnic and community journalism.
1029Newsonomics: 10 numbers on The New York Times’ 1 million digital-subscriber milestone
Digital subscribers are proving to be the bedrock of the Times’ business model going forward. How much more room is there for growth — and at what price points?
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Byliner
New Jersey Newsroom
Semana
I-News
The UpTake
Las Vegas Sun
American Public Media
Craigslist
NBCNews.com
Gawker Media
The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News
The Daily Telegraph