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Spotlight on Athens

Spotlight on Athens

Founded in 1832, the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald's roots trace back to one of Georgia's oldest newspapers.  Today, the Banner-Herald and form one of our most innovative media companies, ABH Media.  

As a university town with a vibrant art and music scene, Athens is a natural market to try creative new ways to serve consumers and advertisers. Publisher Scot Morrissey and his talented team enjoy building innovative products that – if successful – can be utilized in other Morris markets.  Last year, they launched a “pinterest-like” classifieds site that is much different than our verticals of the past.  This is a work-in-progress, but early response has been positive.

The new ABH Preps app focuses on live-scoring and coverage of local high school teams and in less than a month has had hundreds of downloads.

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ABH's latest experiment, code-name “hotwire,” is a visual-based story channel designed to be more engaging.  The presentation is responsive, rendering properly on desktop, tablet or mobile devices.  According to Morrissey, "Analytics have shown us that images are often more engaging than text. We included advertising in the flow of content that's relevant to the channel to increase effectiveness."

It remains to be seen whether “hotwire” dramatically increases page consumption and time on site, or whether it will lead us to somewhere we’re not expecting. But the important point here is that we are innovating, and innovation is essential in an ever-changing media world.  If you ask Scot, he’ll tell you it’s a blast, too.

Till next time,