"E & P Reports" from Editor & Publisher Magazine hosted by Mike Blinder-logo

"E & P Reports" from Editor & Publisher Magazine hosted by Mike Blinder

Media & Entertainment Podcasts

Each week, Editor & Publisher Magazine (E&P) produces a Vodcast of timely interviews with newspaper, broadcast, online and all forms of news publishing and media industry leaders. E&P has been publishing since 1884 and is considered the "bible" and "authoritative voice" of the North American newspaper industry. Each episode is hosted by Publisher Mike Blinder. A video version of "E&P Reports" is also available on YouTube or on the E&P Website at: http://www.EditorandPublisher.com/vodcasts


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Each week, Editor & Publisher Magazine (E&P) produces a Vodcast of timely interviews with newspaper, broadcast, online and all forms of news publishing and media industry leaders. E&P has been publishing since 1884 and is considered the "bible" and "authoritative voice" of the North American newspaper industry. Each episode is hosted by Publisher Mike Blinder. A video version of "E&P Reports" is also available on YouTube or on the E&P Website at: http://www.EditorandPublisher.com/vodcasts





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244 Engaging the next generation: Mike Beaudet’s vision for Gen Z news consumption

In this exclusive interview with E&P Magazine, Mike Beaudet, an investigative reporter for WCVB-TV in Boston and a journalism professor at Northeastern University, shares his vision for adapting local news to resonate with Gen Z through his pioneering Reinventing Local News Project. Funded by the Stanton Foundation, the project aims to repackage traditional broadcast content to meet the digital consumption habits of younger audiences. Beaudet emphasizes leveraging digital platforms like TikTok and OTT to deliver short-form videos, experimenting with longer, context-rich stories, and focusing on authentic, relatable storytelling. By employing innovative strategies and maintaining flexibility in talent acquisition, Beaudet’s project offers a roadmap for news organizations to engage Gen Z and sustain quality journalism in the digital age. Access more on the ineterview's E&P Magazine landing page, at: https://www.editorandpublisher.com/stories/engaging-the-next-generation-mike-beaudets-vision-for-gen-z-news-consumption,250878


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243 Local journalism faces uphill battle: Insights from Howard Homonoff

In a recent interview with Howard Homonoff, Senior National Advisor for Media & Entertainment Industry at Grant Thornton LLP and a weekly columnist for Forbes Magazine, E&P delved into the current state of local journalism. The conversation was sparked by Homonoff’s recent Forbes article titled “Presidential Debate In Focus But Local Journalism Battles For Its Life,” which highlights the severe challenges faced by local journalism, including a long-term decline in newsroom employment and the emergence of “news desert” communities. Learn more at: http://www.EditorandPublisher.com/Vodcasts


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242 Margaret Sullivan discusses The Post turmoil and media's role in 2024 election

In this exclusive interview with E&P, prominent American journalist, Guardian columnist and media critic Margaret Sullivan discussed the current leadership turmoil at The Washington Post, highlighting Jeff Bezos’ decision to hire Will Lewis as the new publisher and the controversies surrounding his tenure. Sullivan also emphasized her efforts to reshape her Substack newsletter, “American Crisis,” to address the critical role of the media in informing the public and safeguarding democracy, particularly in the context of the upcoming 2024 election. Reference more information and complete audio transcipt at: https://www.editorandpublisher.com/stories/margaret-sullivan-on-controversies-at-the-post-and-prioritizing-her-focus-on-medias-critical,250533


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241 Unveiling the secrets of media sales mastery: Insights from Jeffrey Sleete.

In this wide-ranging interview with Jeffrey Sleete, a seasoned media sales consultant with a rich radio and TV advertising sales background, we delved into his approach to media sales and the principles that have guided his successful career. Sleete, who now writes a column for E&P Magazine, shared his ideas on various aspects of how to successfully engage small businesses in today’s challenging local media ecosystem. Access links, audio transcripts and more info on this episode's landing page at: https://www.editorandpublisher.com/stories/unveiling-the-secrets-of-sales-mastery-insights-from-jeffrey-sleete,250412


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240 "Final Phase" for local media: Gordon Borrell affirms content as the lifeline

During this exclusive E&P interview, Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, provided critical insights into the evolving landscape of local media. Highlighting a seismic shift in the industry, Borrell emphasized content as a key differentiator in what he terms the “final phase” for local media. To underscore this, he announced the relocation of Borrell Associates’ 2025 annual conference from Miami to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU. Access more at http://www.EditorandPublisher.com/Vodcasts


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239 NewsGuard under fire: Balancing credibility and controversy in modern journalism

In an era marked by rampant misinformation and polarized media landscapes, NewsGuard has emerged as both a champion of credible journalism and a lightning rod for controversy. Founded in 2018 by Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz, the company aims to rate the reliability of news websites based on transparent, objective criteria. However, NewsGuard’s mission has been challenging, facing legal battles, accusations of political bias and public criticism from high-profile figures like Elon Musk. In this exclusive interview with E&P Magazine, Brill and Crovitz discuss these controversies, their steadfast commitment to promoting trustworthy news, and their insights on the future of credible journalism amid the ever-evolving media landscape. Reference more at this episode's official E&P ;anding page,at: https://www.editorandpublisher.com/stories/newsguard-under-fire-balancing-credibility-and-controversy-in-modern-journalism,250118


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238 Unpacking Dallas Morning News’ decision to reinstate a public editor

Dallas Morning News (DMN) publisher Grant Moise explains the decision to reintroduce the public editor position despite industry trends of cost-cutting, stating, "We looked at data points, we looked at our own internal reasons why subscribers were leaving us, and we just decided we couldn't afford not to make a bold move like this. So, we said, some papers will say, 'They can't afford it.’ We said, ‘We can't afford not to do this.'" Stephen Buckley, who recently began the role of public editor at DMN, explained: "I'm a bridge between our audience and the newsroom. So, as I get feedback from readers about our work, I will pass that on and investigate and inquire. I'll be asking questions about their coverage of stories and issues." Buckley added, "Independence is a really important part of this job, and, almost by definition, that means that it's going to be lonely sometimes, and that's okay.” Buckley’s impressive journalistic background includes over 11 years at the Washington Post as a local reporter and as Africa and Brazil bureau chief. He also spent over seven years at the St. Petersburg (FL) Times (now Tampa Bay Times) in senior management positions that included managing editor, moving eventually into the Time's parent company's Poynter Institute as dean of faculty. In 2021, he accepted a position at Duke University as the Eugene C. Patterson professor of practice and public policy studies, which he will maintain as he works for DMN. During the interview, Moise expresses optimism about the journey ahead, anticipating both successes and challenges. He emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and improvement to enhance the organization's journalistic standards. Moise further explained that reintroducing the public editor position at the Dallas Morning News reflects a strategic effort to rebuild trust and credibility in journalism. He reflected that: “32% of people in Gallup polls trusting the media these days, which means two thirds don't really have any trust.” Moise and Buckley both expressed a shared hope that this move would enhance the newspaper's reputation and strengthen its relationship with the community.


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237 CherryRoad Media's 32-month journey: Revitalizing and rebirthing local newspapers in 18 states

In September of 2021, CherryRoad Media, a Parsippany, New Jersey-based technology company, surprised the news media industry with its purchase of 20 newspapers from the Gannett. Since then, the company has continued to grow and expand its US holdings, now owning 85 newspapers across 18 states.\ Beyond purchasing existing titles, CherryRoad has also built new operations in some “news desert” communities who lost their local papers. Two of the most recent print/ digital “rebirths” were the mid-May 2024 launches of the Hutchinson (MN) Station and The Litchfield (MN) Rail, replacing the Hutchinson Leader and the Litchfield Independent Review, both stared in the 1880’s and announcing their closure in April of 2024.“It's a good time for anybody who wants to get into this business, because there's a lot of sellers and not a lot of buyers, stated Jeremy Gulban, CEO of CherryRoad. When asked about how he can maintain business profitability in his smallest market operation in Hamburg, Iowa (population 700), Gulban states he can apply a regional approach to serving the community through economies of scale. “We do reasonably well there because we're able to leverage our staff in Nebraska City, which is across the Missouri River, about 15 minutes away to provide coverage, and the support there to sell into the market,” stated Gulban. “If we didn't have that, it would be impossible. The math just wouldn't work.” When asked about what’s it like managing so many small market newspapers, Lee Bachlet, CherryRoad COO stated: “I believe deeply that what we do is important, particularly in these small communities. I say all the time, if we are covering their volleyball matches, their city councils, their chicken dinner fundraisers, that means something.” Bachlet went on to add: “This is the best move I've made in many, many years, because what we're doing, I believe, matters and makes a difference.” In their quest for sustainability, CherryRoad is exploring innovative revenue models. While advertising remains a cornerstone, they're also embracing audience revenue through a carefully crafted subscription strategy. With a newly rolled-out (homegrown) paywall system, CherryRoad aims to strike a balance between free access and premium content, tailored to each market's needs. Furthermore, CherryRoad isn't just preserving existing newspapers; they're pioneering new products and services to support local communities. By acquiring a glossy press operation in Minnesota, they're expanding their offerings beyond traditional print. From niche publications to digital initiatives, CherryRoad is committed to meeting the evolving needs of readers and advertisers alike. Despite the challenges, Jeremy Gulban remains optimistic about CherryRoad's future. “We're getting very close to turning the corner. I think in this month of May, we are going to have our first profitable month,” stated Gulban. “This has been a long slog. I think I was naive about how hard this would be to turn all this around. I do feel like we're in the place we want to be finally coming into the summer here.” In this exclusive interview, E&P checks in with CherryRoad Media’s CEO Jeremy Gulban and COO Lee Bachlet to learn how this less than 3-years-old US media empire is faring with their 85 newspapers across 18 states. Topics covered include their recent acquisitions, revenue strategies and how they find profitability serving some markets with populations less than 1,000. We also explore their recent new title launches in several “news desert” communities.


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236 Detroit PBS CEO Rich Homberg's mission to redefine public media

Detroit Public Television, now rebranded as Detroit PBS, is making a notable return to the heart of the city, signifying a renewed dedication to serving its community with quality, trust, and fairness in media. In this exclusive interview with Rich Homberg, President & CEO of Detroit PBS, he reflects on his journey into public media and the organization's strategic shift towards strengthening local content. Homberg, whose background lies in commercial radio sales and news operations, shares insights into the evolving landscape of public media and the imperative for strong local journalism. During his 20-minute interview with E&P Publisher Mike Blinder, Homberg emphasized, “We are producing more content than we've ever produced in our history. However, simultaneously, we use, engage, and pivot off of national content as much as any station in the system.” Homberg went on to state, “Our core values are posted on the wall: Diversity, Engagement, Trust, Innovation. This is the mindset inside our building that we install on a regular basis.” Homberg offered to share a recent PowerPoint slide deck with E&P that offers an overview of the operation’s business model. With Detroit PBS's commitment to producing more content than ever before, Homberg discusses the organization's expansion efforts and its role as a hub for media production and community engagement. The forthcoming Detroit PBS campus, situated in the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood, aims to foster collaboration and innovation while serving as a beacon for local journalism. “We're building a building that has capacity for 147, with an eye towards bringing partners. It'll have 120 parking spots, and it will be an engagement center. It'll be a place to come to. That's not aspirational. It's what we do.” Reflecting on the challenges and opportunities in public media, Homberg champions the power of partnerships and collaboration. He cites examples of successful public television stations across the country, highlighting their innovative approaches to community engagement and content delivery. As Detroit PBS prepares for its next chapter in the heart of the city, Homberg remains optimistic about the organization's potential to make a significant impact, emphasizing the importance of embracing opportunities and working together towards a shared vision of excellence in media.


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235 Turning the Page: Daniel Richardson's journey to restore local news to Tennessee towns.

Daniel Richardson, a Marine Corp veteran, UT Martin business management graduate and former CEO of Magic Valley Publishing, is making waves in the world of local community media. With a vision to bolster local journalism, Richardson has reopened several recently closed Tennessee newspapers once owned by Holler Media, adding to his growing media empire under the new Richardson Media Group banner. Richardson’s company now encompasses nine Tennessee titles, including The Fentress Courier, Livingston Enterprise, Citizen Statesman, the Jackson County Sentinel and Shelbyville Times-Gazette, formerly owned by Holler Media. Richardson's journey into media ownership is deeply rooted in family tradition. His late father, Dennis Richardson, another UT Martin alumnus, initiated the family's involvement in journalism by acquiring the Carroll County News in 1983, marking the genesis of Magic Valley Publishing. The inception of Richardson Media Group emerged when Apex Bank sought assistance from him to revive several shuttered newspapers in Middle Tennessee, that were owned and shut down by Holler Media. During this exclusive interview with E&P Publisher Mike Blinder, Richardson revealed, "The bank reached out to me to reopen some publications that they had financed and had subsequently been closed. Apex didn't want to see the communities without newspapers. They didn't want to see the newspapers shut down. However, at the end of the day, they're also responsible to their shareholders. They wanted to recover as much of the capital as they could, which required an ongoing business that was marketable and sellable.” When asked about how those communities he is now serving initially reacted to the loss and then saving of their local newspapers, Richardson stated: “A newspaper is something that I think most communities take for granted. You don't think much about it until it's gone.” Richardson added: “These towns had a terrible experience with a previous publisher. So, how did they know that I would be any different? It wasn’t real to them until there was a pretty newspaper in their mailbox and on the newsstands. That is a big testament to the power of printed media. The website stayed up. But it's just not the same.”


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234 Local Media Association and Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association partner to create fundraising lab

The Local Media Association (LMA) and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA) have united to establish the Pennsylvania Fundraising Lab. This groundbreaking venture is designed to empower Pennsylvania news organizations with the expertise and understanding needed to secure philanthropic funding for their reporting projects , thereby enhancing their financial sustainability and enabling them to continue delivering high-quality journalism. In a recent episode of 'E&P Reports,' Frank Mungeam, LMA chief innovation officer, and Bill Cotter, PNA president, shared the success story of the LMA’s Lab for Journalism Funding. With over $23 million raised for journalism funding through the national lab, the decision to expand to a state-level initiative in Pennsylvania was a logical progression. The Pennsylvania Fundraising Lab will operate within a six-month ‘cohort learning format,' offering participating newsrooms the opportunity to learn from philanthropic fundraising experts, share best practices, and receive guidance from experienced mentors. Bill Cotter emphasized the importance of strong leadership and community-focused projects in driving the success of the Fundraising Lab. "Newsroom leaders play a critical role in championing fundraising efforts and ensuring that selected projects address local community needs," stated Cotter. “This lab encourages proactive, solutions-oriented journalism that makes a tangible impact on communities, fostering support and engagement from local audiences.'" The Pennsylvania cohort will be led by Liz White, a former newspaper owner/publisher and an LMA Advanced Fundraising Lab graduate. LMA staff and a team of coaches will also provide one-on-one support to the participating newsrooms. In a recent statement, the PNA explained that preference for participation will be given to media organizations that: The statement went on to say that each publisher in the cohort will set a fundraising goal, in consultation with the coaches, that aligns with that publisher's market size. Participating publishers will also attend the LMA Fest in September and meet with funders and other fundraising lab participants. Case studies and an industry playbook will be published, sharing best practices and lessons learned. During the E&P interview, Cotter shared the Lenfest Institute’s involvement in the project, stating: “They will play a crucial role by providing programmatic support, guest speakers and case studies to enrich the learning experience for participants,” Cotter went on to highlight the Institute's expertise in assisting news enterprises with fundraising through the Lenfest News Philanthropy Network and its focus on digital transformation for historically print news organizations through the Lenfest Beyond Print program. Cotter said, “This collaboration underscores the commitment of all stakeholders involved to equip Pennsylvania news organizations with the resources and knowledge necessary to navigate the evolving media landscape effectively.” To offer additional support, the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association will also award participating Lab newsrooms three $20,000 grants at their 100th Anniversary Gala.


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233 New York State implements historic tax credits to support local journalism.

In a groundbreaking move, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a 2025 state budget that includes $90 million in tax credits for local news media outlets, marking a significant victory for the press and local journalism. The Empire State Local News Coalition, which helped champion this legislation, initially formed with 100 news publishers in February 2024 to work together and advocate for what was originally introduced as the New York State Local Journalism Sustainability Act. In just a few months, the coalition expanded to over 200 news outlets. Rebuild Local News, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advances public policies to help local news and community journalism, posted a press release supporting the legislation, stating that this is “the largest sum that any state has devoted to help struggling community news organizations.” The new legislation offers $30 million in guaranteed tax credits for three years, with $13 million each year allocated for news organizations with fewer than 100 employees, $13 million for larger ones and $4 million to support new hires. Caveats within the legislation include: Zack Richner, a New York news publishing executive and the founder of the Empire State Local News Coalition, stated during this episode of E&P Reports, "The success of our coalition demonstrates the power of collaboration and advocacy in shaping policies that support local journalism and empower communities." Steven Waldman, CEO and founder of Rebuild Local News, who worked with the Empire State Local News Coalition to get this legislation passed, emphasized the importance of designing policies with safeguards to prevent potential infringements on journalistic independence. He stated, "We must ensure that any government involvement in funding journalism is accompanied by robust safeguards to preserve press freedom and integrity." Both Richner and Waldman stressed their hope that this legislation's impact will extend far beyond the borders of New York State. With initiatives underway in California and Illinois, the momentum generated by the Empire State's success aims to spark a nationwide movement.


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232 Facebook blocks State’s Newsroom’s Kansas Reflector: A threat to free press and first Amendment?

In a dramatic turn of events, the Kansas Reflector, a news affiliate of the non-profit States Newsroom, found itself at the center of a contentious battle with Facebook. Sherman Smith, the Editor-in-Chief of the Kansas Reflector, revealed the unfolding saga during an exclusive interview with Mike Blinder, Publisher of E&P Magazine. The saga began when Facebook rejected an editorial titled "When Facebook Fails, Local Media Matters Even More For Our Planet's Future," authored by Dave Kendall and published on the Kansas Reflector's website. The piece highlighted Facebook's rejection of Kendall's documentary on climate change as too divisive, emphasizing the importance of local media in disseminating crucial information. Shortly after attempting to share the editorial on Facebook, the Kansas Reflector faced a startling development. Facebook not only rejected the post but proceeded to remove all past posts linking to the Reflector's website. The platform deemed the Kansas Reflector a cybersecurity threat and contacted every individual who had interacted with the Kansas Reflector's page over the past four years, sending notifications labeling the site as “questionable,” prompting widespread confusion and concern among followers. Smith recounted a conversation with Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone, who acknowledged the platform's error in blocking the Kansas Reflector's posts. However, Stone's apology, delivered via Twitter instead of Facebook's own channels, raised eyebrows and underscored the lack of direct communication from the social media giant. Smith pressed Stone for further clarification on Facebook's actions and the potential implications for media outlets. Stone's response left Smith with lingering concerns about Facebook's accountability and transparency, particularly regarding its content moderation policies and the impact on journalistic integrity. The exchange highlighted the need for greater scrutiny of Facebook's role in shaping public discourse and its responsibility to uphold press freedom. Smith emphasized to Stone the widespread impact of Facebook's actions, reminding him that individuals who had interacted with the Kansas Reflector's page were told that Facebook deems their site as questionable. Smith highlighted the detrimental effect this had on the publication's reputation and audience trust. Despite raising these concerns, Stone expressed his inability to rectify the situation beyond his initial apology on X, leaving Smith and the Kansas Reflector team frustrated with the lack of concrete action or recourse. This exchange underscored the broader implications of Facebook's content moderation decisions and the challenges faced by media organizations in navigating such platforms while maintaining journalistic integrity. As the situation continues to unfold, Smith remains committed to keeping the public informed and holding Facebook accountable. He underscores the importance of transparency and urges Facebook to provide a credible explanation for its actions. The Kansas Reflector's battle with Facebook underscores the challenges facing media organizations in the digital age and raises critical questions about the power wielded by tech giants over the dissemination of news and information. As the story continues to evolve, it serves as a sobering reminder of the ongoing struggle to preserve press freedom and protect the public's right to access information.


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231 Addressing America's Divides: The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s newest chapter1

For more than three decades, The Chronicle of Philanthropy has stood as the foremost beacon of insight and information for professionals and organizations within the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. Through its printed and online platforms, The Chronicle offers comprehensive coverage of trends, challenges, and best practices in the philanthropic world, serving as an invaluable resource for those dedicated to charitable giving and social impact. On April 2, 2024, The Chronicle embarks on a new chapter, launching an innovative line of coverage aimed at dissecting America's widening divides and the burgeoning movements seeking to mend the fractures threatening national progress and stability. As the 2024 election landscape unfolds, The Chronicle will take a deep dive into the country's polarization along political, socio-economic, racial, geographical, and cultural lines. This groundbreaking content will find its home on 'The Commons,' a dedicated online platform set to launch on April 2, 2024. Aptly named to embody The Chronicle's mission of fostering collaboration and insight-sharing, 'The Commons' will serve as a digital hub where thought leaders convene to exchange ideas, perspectives, and solutions. Readers can expect a rich tapestry of opinion pieces, essays, interviews, roundtable discussions, video journalism, and virtual events, all aimed at illuminating and addressing the complex fabric of America's societal divides." Join us for this episode of 'E&P Reports' as we delve into The Chronicle of Philanthropy's groundbreaking initiative led by senior editor Drew Lindsay. Discover how their innovative online platform, 'The Commons,' is poised to tackle America's deep divides head-on. From political polarization to socio-economic disparities, explore how The Chronicle is fostering dialogue and understanding in an era of increasing division and uncertainty.


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230 Understanding the skills necessary to lead the newsroom of tomorrow

While attending the Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, Laura Krantz McNeill decided to interview 26 separate media leaders she considered to be “change-makers and innovators” and asked them what they think the essential skills that the next generation of news leadership will need to move us closer to a healthier and more sustainable future for the news media industry.1 The result of that work is a self-published paper entitled "New Skills for a New Era: Five Crucial Skills for the Next Generation of Media Leaders in the Era of Community-centric Journalism," which was later posted by Nieman Labs. McNeill, who began her journalism career at the Vermont Digger, also spent seven years as a reporter at The Boston Globe and is now the senior editor of subscriber products at The Chronicle of Higher Education. She lists within the study the essential skills as: We need leaders who think like product managers. And understand that a publication’s value is defined by the communities it serves We need leaders who can strategize. And who are in conversation with the community. We need leaders who are excited about being entrepreneurs. And see opportunity in chaos. We need business leaders who also evangelize our mission. And whose devotion to our cause brings others along. We need leaders who consider themselves stewards. And who position our organizations, but more importantly, our people, for success. In this episode of “E&P Reports” we chat with Laura Krantz McNeill who interviewed several news media executives, resulting in a published a study for the Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.


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229 The “whats, whys and hows” of The Association of Community Publishers (ACP)

The Association of Community Publishers (ACP) is a dynamic organization dedicated to supporting and empowering free, community-based media outlets across the United States. Founded to promote excellence in local journalism and foster collaboration among community publishers, the ACP represents a diverse array of publications, including newspapers, shoppers, magazines, directories and digital news platforms — all with no paid access to the print or online content they provide. This year's annual conference will be held May 1-3 in Norfolk, Virginia and will offer programs mainly centered on building revenue. It also will feature a new “THRIVE” certificate program hosted by Author and "Sales Futurist" Meridith Elliott Powell. Her scheduled keynote presentation is designed to help attendees "do the impossible and take action to lead through uncertainty." In this episode of "E&P Reports," we speak with Manuel Karem, the general manager of Featured Media in Avon, New York and current president of The Association of Community Publishers (ACP). We explore the ACP's mission, why this media organization differs from others and how local news publishers can benefit from membership. We also get a sneak peek at their upcoming May conference in Norfolk, VA.


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228 Exploring their new book: “What Works in Community News,” from authors Ellen Clegg & Dan Kennedy

Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy have become recognized and respected news media analysts with their highly listened to podcast series: “What Works. The future of local news.” However recently, Clegg a three-decade Boston Globe veteran who helped get a few Pulitzer Prizes for the paper and Kennedy a Northeastern University journalism professor who writes the Media Nation blog, have released a critically acclaimed book entitled: “What Works in Community News: Media Startups, News Deserts, and the Future of the Fourth Estate,” that explores how a number of news media operations seem to be on their way to finding sustainable local journalism business models. Some of the local media companies they examine, include the Sahan Journal, a digital publication reporting on Minnesota’s immigrant communities, the Storm Lake Times Pilot, a legacy print newspaper in Iowa, published by Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, who developed a hybrid for-profit/nonprofit model, the New Haven Independent , a multilingual, digital news project that expanded its audience through radio and others. In this episode of “E&P Reports” we spend 20-minutes with Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy the authors of the new book: “What Works in Community News,” to learn how they selected the featured nine media operations and why they believed these are worth exploring to find models for sustainable local journalism. Clegg a seasoned editor and local news media entrepreneur along with Kennedy a respected professor of Journalism also offer advice gleaned from the book to news publishing executives on how to navigate the challenging and ever-changing local news media ecosystem.


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227 A look at the broadcast news industry from RTDNA CEO Dan Shelley

In September 2023, E&P reported on the Arizona Newspapers Association and the Arizona Broadcasters Association merger. In the past year, there have been several legacy newspaper and public media mergers, such as Chicago Public Media's acquisition of the Chicago Sun-Times, The Steinman's "gifting" of their 150+-year-old Lancaster, PA newspaper to the local public broadcasting outlet and the Denton (TX) Record-Chronicle becoming part of Dallas-Fort Worth's KERA Public Broadcasting operations. Many news media pundits predict that, in the very near future, we will see more broadcasting and newspaper newsrooms working as one to compete for larger audiences and achieve new economies of scale to achieve sustainable business models. For this reason, E&P sought insights from the Radio Television Digital News Association's CEO & President Dan Shelley on how the RTDNA is helping journalism survive in today's complex local news media ecosystem. Topics discussed in this episode of "E&P Reports" include the fight for cameras (and microphones) in courtrooms. Should the news media industry police itself in defining who is a journalist? We also explore the growth of citizen journalism, its impact on local news media outlets and more. Dan Shelley is president and CEO of the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and president of the RTDNA Foundation. Previously, Dan was senior vice president of digital content strategy for iHeartMedia, senior vice president at Interactive One (part of Radio One), director of digital media at WCBS-TV, New York and an executive producer for WCBS-TV News.


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226 A frank discussion about public media with industry expert Tom Davidson

Recently, Public Media Consultant Tom Davidson wrote an op-ed published in “Current,” the industry’s quarterly trade magazine, “decrying the lack of awareness in public media about Press Forward, the $500 million foundation effort to reinvigorate local news.” Since then, National Public Radio (NPR) published its own white paper to support public media, and the Public Media Content Collective (formally the Public Radio Program Directors Association) added a panel to their fall conference that addresses the same issues. However, Davidson still sees a major disconnect within public media on how the industry itself sees its place within the local news media ecosystem, which can impact accessing the ever-increasing national philanthropic support of local journalism. Davidson believes: “It starts with understanding that serving a tiny portion of your market (and the wealthiest, whitest portion of your market) isn’t going to work” when it comes to proving the value you provide within a society being impacted by “news deserts” and “ghost papers.” However, Davidson sees hope for a change within the public media world, as some broadcast outlets are acquiring local newspapers and others are expanding their news operations to serve a broader, more cumulative audience within their local markets. In this episode of “E&P Reports,” we go one-on-one with well-known digital media consultant, Knight fellow, professor of journalism, Gannett’s past director of new product development and past senior director of public broadcasting, Tom Davidson, who “pulls no punches” during this frank discussion on the challenges that public media faces today and how it can continue to be a viable, self-sustaining part of local journalism.


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225 Jeff Jarvis and Steven Waldman debate the hard questions facing the news media industry.

On February 4, 2024, the president of Rebuild Local News and co-founder of Report for America, Steven Waldman, penned an op-ed for E&P Magazine entitled “In defense of (some) old media. Writing off legacy media will lead to bad public policy.” In the very first sentence of the piece, Waldman took aim at the January 24, 2024 article, “Is it time to give up on old news?” which was penned and published by Jeff Jarvis, author and former professor and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. In the article, Jeff Jarvis stated, “Giving more money to old media is throwing good after bad.” Jarvis stated, “The old news industry has failed at adapting to the internet and every one of their would-be saviors — from tablets to paywalls to programmatic ads to consolidation to billionnaires — has failed them. Hedge funds have bought up chains and papers, selling everything not bolted down, cutting every possible cost and taking every penny of cash flow home with them. The one thing the old companies are still investing in is lobbying.” Within Waldman’s editorial, he countered by stating that he disagrees that it’s time to dispense with “legacy” or “old” media by writing, “First, even generalizing about 'old media' is absurd. That category includes about 7,000 local news entities of different shapes, sizes and ownership structures, including most Black and Hispanic newspapers.” Waldman also said, “So the real problem must be the big city dailies. Except in his piece, Jarvis (who is an old friend) noted that The Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Advance publications (Newhouse family) in Alabama ‘seem to be surviving or better.’ So ‘old media’ is pathetic ... except for the ones that aren’t. And we should only invest in nonprofit media ... except for the for-profits we like.” In this episode of “E&P Reports,” we bring together two well-known media experts, Steven Waldman and Jeff Jarvis, in one interview. These two gentlemen have publicly disagreed on major issues and have been getting the lion's share of exposure in representing the news media industry to the national press. They are becoming high-profile advocacy spokespeople on opposite sides of several current, significant legislative matters debated at state and federal levels. Topics discussed include: · The reasons behind recent major media company layoffs (such as the LA Times, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated) and shutdowns (like the 10-month start-up to shuttering of the Messenger). · The impact of corporate and hedge fund newspaper ownership on local communities and what can or should be done to give others a chance to own these local titles. · Public media’s entrance into local newspaper ownership and how this may become the norm in the coming months. · Addressing the “hard questions” about current legislation and whether the government should or should not become involved in helping save legacy media. · And more.