Selling CPM: How to Kill Local Media

We hope Broadcast and Newspaper execs fully understand why Yahoo! is hurting. YAHOO! relies heavily on pageviews, commodity content and CPM or 'cost per thousand' selling of banner ad inventory. With online ad inventory growing everyday, that creates a glut. When ever there's too much of something, the value goes down. Simple supply and demand principles. Yahoo gets killed playing the ad commodity game. Too many TV, Radio and Print companies employ the same tactics. The Wall Street Journal highlighted many sources that support what we've preached for many years: selling your web inventory via CPM or ad networks is bad business and turns your journalism and content into a commodity. At … [Read more...]

Morris Reunites Web & Print Staff

For years, Internet research analysts have scared Newspaper and Broadcast companies  into thinking they had to create a separate staff for digital. While it sounds good on paper and some of that strategy works in unique situations like Deseret Media, it's now being seen as a deeply flawed plan for most local media operators. Publishers are steamed. They lost valuable time in trying to ramp up endeavors that were not only expensive, but they created internal warfare that local advertisers found appalling; ex: stay away from my client with your Internet stuff ! Thought leaders warned that traditional sellers were incapable of learning new sales skills. We think that's a large pile of … [Read more...]

Valuation of Digital Assets. Inland Press

Local online news & info is about to enter it's next phase. Newspaper, TV, Radio and hyper local operators can no longer run digital with their fingers crossed. Having editorial execs drive the digital bus by themselves is now seen as a recipe for financial pain and loss. Every part of the business is now up for serious scrutiny: who's in charge, sales plans, management structure, skill sets, path to profitability, etc. Topping that list is the financial health and business plan of the online operation. Having superior content is no longer enough. Internet financial health and online investment values were the focus of my session at the Family Ownership Conference in Chicago last … [Read more...]

Digital Diagnostic for Radio Websites

Can Radio beat Newspaper in the online news space? Here's part 1 of last week's webinar we did for a group of Radio executives. Merlin Media and Genesis Communications are featured in this session. We focus on the issues affecting Radio's ability to build sustainable, online business models. … [Read more...]

Newspaper’s Digital Competition

How Newspaper Can Beat Digital Competition. UPDATED for Oct 2011. Slide deck from this week's webinar. Some competitors are familiar, others are not. Featured topics: Centro: Friend or Foe? gets crushed on Mainline by indie website; Huffington Post and their aggregation model to trump Patch model? Patch President; Warren Webster, qualified to talk revenue? CPM selling is killing Newspaper websites. DataSphere helping TV get into hyper-local space. Newspaper Web Competition Oct 2011 … [Read more...]

Hyper Local Business Models for News Media

What's the best business model for a newspaper, broadcast or hyper local news site? What if the answer was as simple as running your website like a real business, with a profit-first strategy? This kind of talk flies right in the face of those who preach entrepreneurial journalism and editorial first strategies. We know that's either too damn scary or time-consuming for some old school journalists and media executives. Learning new skills and changing workflow takes time. But when Reach Local, Patch and indie sites like are taking bigger chunks of revenue out of the market, you might want to 'eat your peas' and get with the program. In this month's DIGITAL REVENUE … [Read more...]

Protected: Pricing your Online Ad Inventory

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Inland Press; Patch & Hyper Local

On March 18, Inland Press responded once again to the newspaper industry's interest in hyper local competition and the growth of Patch. They invited me to do an encore of the session that was originally presented in St. Petersburg, Florida a few weeks ago, at the Key Executives conference. See presentation below. Attendees heard our message loud and clear. Run your website like your newspaper....profit must come first. Key take-aways that seemed to resonate the most: Whoever acts as Web general manager, VP Interactive/content, editor, etc....must have their compensation tied to digital profitability and local market share....NOT page views or other soft metrics. CPM selling at … [Read more...]

Revenue: Online Community Journalism

TCU in Fort Worth recently played host to an excellent journalism workshop focused on helping community newspapers turn a profit with their websites. I was invited to speak to this gathering of highly engaged newspaper execs. The 30 participants in this 3 day workshop represented a variety of local newspapers throughout Texas. They were all  committed to building sustainable business models for their digital news efforts. Tommy Thomason; program director of TCU's Texas Center for Community Journalism, is doing an amazing job with this series of workshops. With funding from the Texas Newspaper Foundation, attendees get intensive, non-stop training and development that really stands out … [Read more...]