On Sunday, Times-Union Media announced their all-access launch after months of hard work and preparation. Just like our previous launches in Augusta and Lubbock, print subscribers get our phone apps, e-edition and iPad app as part of their membership. But on the web, the strategy differs.
Today is an exciting day at Morris Publishing Group. We are thrilled to announce a new agreement between our company and LocalEdge™, a Hearst Media Services Company that provides digital products and services to local businesses.
It has been a year since we at Morris Publishing Group made the bold statement that we were a Digital First media company. We decided at the time that we had the power to build a bright future. We decided we were going to see the digital revolution as an opportunity, not a threat. We made the choice to embrace change, rather than resist it.
In an effort to recognize excellence in sales across our markets, Morris Publishing Group launched the President’s Club in 2004. Next month, our 2012 winners will travel to Augusta so we can honor them and learn from their success. It’s been several years since we’ve brought them here to receive their honors in person.
Before I announce their names, a few thoughts about sales…
These are exciting times at Morris. On Friday we announced senior-level job openings in six of our media markets for vice presidents of audience. Our own Steve Yelvington wrote a fantastic explanation of why these positions are essential to achieving our "audience first" goals and building a bright future for our company. I hope you take the time to read it.
If you haven’t seen it, please check out the new morris.com. Our company’s digital storefront has been completely rebuilt to reflect our new direction. The new site will be constantly updated with news and information, so come back often.
Last week, publishers and editors came to Augusta for a meeting we called the Audience Summit. The purpose for the meeting was to discuss the urgency for us to greatly increase the digital audiences and in our communities. Many great ideas were shared and specific goals to grow audience were agreed upon.
Over the past few weeks, several of our markets have been in various stages of office relocations. All are different situations, but all create a change of scenery and exciting possibilities for our employees.
Up in Brainerd, publisher Tim Bogenshutz has consolidated the Echo Publishing, Pine River Journal and Brainerd Dispatch workforces under one roof. Tim assured readers in his column that the move is smart business, but their mission remains the same.
The last few years have certainly been no walk in the park for those of us in the newspaper business. Print advertising revenue has dropped by nearly half since the peak in 2005. Digital advertising has grown, but not fast enough to offset the print declines.
The loss in revenue forced us to make difficult adjustments to our costs, including our labor force.
We had one heck of a two-day conference last week, where publishers and vp's of sales from across Morris came and shared sales strategies for 2012. This week's focus has been to pull all these ideas together into a measurable set of objectives. Here are a couple highlights with some fancy names (maybe we were drinking too much red bull):