Shit Hitting Fan for Local Media

The shit is really starting to hit the fan. This time, with more shit and a more powerful fan. Newspaper, Radio & TV managers are in a heightened state of panic due to their lack of digital revenue success. Pink slips are flying, private equity is taking over, and being a digital knuckle-dragger will get you a one way ticket to Shitsville. For the past 10 years, these hard working managers followed the digital revenue ramblings of newsroom geeks, web masters, tenured college professors and research analysts. They hoped that these anointed thought leaders would eventually lead them to a sustainable, online business models. Nope. Sorry. Why is local media still stuck in a mountain … [Read more...]

Patch, Reach Local & Pandora

The new, local online competition; more than just the other newspaper or TV station across the street. Outsiders like Patch, Reach Local, Groupon and Pandora are hell-bent on siphoning ad dollars in local markets. Even independent, hyperlocal sites are grabbing bigger shares of small business marketing budgets. Local Market Web Competition 9.12.10 … [Read more...]

ONA 10. TBD Not Focused On Profit?

Been watching the live video stream and Twitter feeds of ONA10, The Online News Association conference in Washington, DC  this week. Totally loving that I can follow from my office in Philly... but I'm bummed at the lack of any coherent sales plan coming from my hyper-local heroes at TBD.com. The ONA keynote this morning featured top execs of Allbritton's TBD, the DC based online news effort steered by Jim Brady and Steve Buttry. These guys are some of the smartest in the business....when they're discussing editorial and online news gathering procedures. But when it comes to sales and revenue strategy, the discussion disappoints. Badly. Journos are screaming at me now: 'so what, … [Read more...]

Online Disruption: Local Media Screwed?

Not so long ago, small business was at the mercy of Newspaper, TV & Radio. If you needed to advertise your Italian restaurant or car dealership, you had to call the big media players in town. Often, they played the role of Tony Soprano (or Nucky Thompson if you watch Boardwalk Empire on HBO). They were in the driver’s seat and it was their way or the highway. But that’s no longer true today. Local marketing budgets are in flux. They're up for grabs as the Internet enables and empowers every mom and pop in town. Yes, as my mentor told me...'the deer now have guns'. Thanks to cheap and simple digital platforms, along with a growing army of online-only companies, SMBs (small & mid … [Read more...]

Local Media…The Digital Land Grab.

WE ARE SPARTANS ! So goes the battle cry from the movie..... '300'. Spartans are a proud people protecting their land and way of life from the incoming Persians. Do I smell a historical analogy coming on ? The Spartans: Local TV, Radio and Newspaper properties. They've had a very nice run for the past 50 to 100 years or so. Profit margins hovering around 50%, huge barriers to entry, powerful lobbying arms, virtual ownership of all local advertising revenues, etc. They would like to protect this way of life. It is has been good. Real good. The Persians: Recently created outsiders like Google, online ad networks like Centro,  pure-play sites like Patch, Facebook and ReachLocal. … [Read more...]