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Posts Tagged ‘Marty Kaiser’

Boston_Globe logoI had a twofold reaction to Thursday’s news that the Boston Globe was trying to reinvent itself:

  1. Another fucking newspaper reinvention? How many times have we heard this?
  2. I hope it succeeds. Someone has to.

If you don’t want to read my whining/ranting about previous reinvention failures, skip to the “why I’m optimistic” heading, where I share my optimism for the Globe’s project. I am optimistic, but I need to share that frustration, too.

Why I’m frustrated

In both reactions, my thoughts turned to the American Press Institute. The current incarnation of API is helping the Globe, and I’ll address that in the optimistic section. And I was heavily involved in an initiative by an earlier version of API to lead reinvention of the newspaper business.

A decade ago, API developed a blueprint for newspaper reinvention (we called it a “Blueprint for Transformation”). Seriously, we published that advice in 2006, the year newspaper ad revenues first started to drop, by a tiny 1.7 percent. Ad revenue has dropped every year since, often by double-digit percentages and the Newspaper Association of America hasn’t even bothered to report the figures for 2014 and 2015. Those annual reports usually came out in April, and the most recent revenue report on the NAA website was published April 18, 2014.

I worked for API on the Newspaper Next project, and my colleagues and I presented those principles and techniques of reinvention more than a hundred times to newspaper audiences around the globe, from one-hour overviews for press associations to two-day workshops for specific newspapers and large newspaper companies. We produced at least three N2 reports, one of which I wrote.

Newspaper executives who proclaimed themselves eager to reinvent their organizations applauded our message and spent thousands of dollars (we charged $11,000 plus expenses for a one-day workshop) sharing the message with their staffs and executive teams. But their cultural and organizational inertia was so powerful that they took only tentative partial steps that didn’t come close to reinvention. (more…)

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The Midwest Newspaper Summit confirmed my view that the Complete Community Connection offers the best path to a prosperous future for news media companies.

I heard some good ideas discussed at the meeting, and the best possibilities for generating new revenues were ideas at the heart of the C3 approach.

The summit, sponsored by seven state press associations, drew more than 250 people to the Grand River Center in Dubuque. I can’t remember the last time I attended a newspaper industry meeting where they had to set up additional chairs, but they did. Jo Martin and Jennifer Asa of the Iowa Newspaper Foundation deserve great credit for planning, promoting and presenting the program. I posted more than 100 tweets from the summit on Thursday, so I won’t try to recap here. Instead, I will give my views on how the key points of each speaker will contribute to that search for a prosperous future: (more…)

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