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Sustain Local at Montclair State University

Posting some notes and highlights from Sustain Local. Schedule here.

Jeff Jarvis introduced as “intellectual godfather” by Daniel Guerskis, dean at College of the Arts MSU.

Center for Cooperative Media focuses on Partnerships, Collaboration, Training and development, Product development, Communication, Research, and Connection to the University. Revenue Workshop, how to build a sales strategy and offering back office services. “For those who don’t have a corporate infrastructure in place.”

Tim Griggs joined the Center to run a Dodge funded project that hopes to establish national distribution for local outlets.

Critical focus for the Center on revenue.

“Commercial media all about pageviews, entry points for advertising. Public media is all about memberships, and scrum, as we’re all going to be scrumming for foundation and grant dollars. The question for me is: Why should we care?” – Sandra Clark, WHYY

Pretty sure a former NYT editorial board writer just admitted editorials are useless.

Marc Andressen quote about local news being unattractive to investment brought up. Is there a commercial opportunity here?

Borrell: “I think the local problem has been that we approach it from our own business model, and we look at it as an iteration from the newspaper to the web, or from the television station.”

He calls out Ken Pustizzi as a success story in Millville, NJ, publisher of SNJ Today.

Also calls out Belo/Dallas Morning News for being a success story in the pivot.

“Analysis is one of the things communities are going to crave” – Craig Anderson, UNC

Interesting thoughts by Sandy Clark on importance of membership, relating story about donors who didn’t really consume any of their content – so membership decision about something else.

Funders don’t want to fund one-offs.

Borrell on agency movement: Benefit to legacy synergy but have to be more aggressive on social and search optimization. “I think advertising departments are broken.”

Hearst has used newspaper advertising team (SF Chronicle specifically) to handle broadcast-sold native advertising, so that a brand in Des Moines could be getting an article by someone located in the Bay Area.

Sandy brings up emerging audiences not captured by legacy media. Preach it.

Facebook. Good for news? Borrell says they don’t care. Focused exclusively on the consumer experience. News to them includes family updates. “Continuing to evolve and it’ll be very complex.” Goood as a promotional vehicle but ultimately you want to get users back to whatever your thing is.

Local is growing. Radio and then newspape at risk for local dollars from Facebook.

Hearst’s Roger Keating says Google has become a much better partner to local news publishers.

Jim Friedlich being interviewed by Bryan Mercer (as are Jeff Jarivs and Robertson Barrett from Hearst). The Friedlich story of PMN is a little cherry compared to the actual path of Gerry Lenfest to single ownership situation, but “Knight + Poynter” is how he describes our happy and novel ownership situation. “Live laboratory for new innovation.”

Fridlich… Quoted as well as possible…

“I’m enormously optimistic about hte future of local and metro news, for a couple principal reasons. One is this emerging group of very enlightened owners. Jeff Bezos, John Henry, Gerry Lenfest – kind of a ‘billionaire boys club’…. Hearst is a very smart and enlightened owner of newspapers, but there is no one with your title at big chains. … The second reason is innovation. Companies like, Quartz, Vox are building sustainable profitable companies with venture money. That kind of strategy is catching on in local, Billy Penn Charlotte Agenda, these kind of things are propping out around the country, and that’s good news.”

“Heritage media – legacy media sounds like someone just died – heritage media is legacy with a future, and we hope to marry that with startup nimbleness.”

Jeff Jarvis.. “Firmly believe we are not in the content business. No. We are in the service business. Journalism exists to service communities…. There are so many new tools we have at the ready to serve those communities. We have to get our mind out of being this destination.”

Jeff Jarvis wants to see the networked business model where we can advance by collaborating on content but also on business.

Principal different between the heritage news business and startup community is the fanatical devotion to user experience. Friedlich mentioned and Quartz, certainly one of those fits ????.

Hearst’s Rob Barrett talks about building “muscle” teams for frontend, data, etc. Could potentially sell to other news firms. Lots of things we can do to help each other.

Friedlich gives a shoutout to Dallas Morning News for its cultural transformation. I read that as a shoutout to Robyn Tomlin (ok, Mike Wilson, too). “They defined print as this one product that came out of the digital kitchen rather than the other way around.” The second thing, he says, was a generational change in leadership. “Changing of the guard.”

“Paywalls redline journalism.” – Jeff Jarvis

“There’s a lot of stuff made up in the board room and then it’s like wow, that didn’t work.” – Barrett

“Nobody can say it’s safe out there.” – Michael Oreskes, NPR

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Real publishers, real problems, real opportunities

Here is a copy of my presentation and prepared remarks from WordCamp for Publishers 2019 in Columbus.

Chris Gethard & Mal Blum – Crying At The Wawa (Official Video)

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