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Entries for October 2011

The Southern Newspaper Publishers Association’s Annual Convention took place in Williamsburg, Virginia, last week. Below are a few highlights and top quotes of the conference:

“I can’t compete with your brand.”
From Warren Webster, President of Patch, when asked how newspapers can compete with Patch.

Patch is in 863 neighborhoods covered by 1,000 journalists. In 2010, they were ranked the 10th largest local property by comScore in terms of monthly unique visitors – in 2011 they moved up to number five. They are investing in infrastructure. In terms of town penetration, 50 percent of a town population visits Patch within 7 months of site launch and over 80 percent of the population will visit monthly after one year. Currently, 90 percent of their advertising is local and 10 percent is national. They want to be the “concierge” of the web.

When asked about revenue needed by Patch, Webster noted the example that they would need $10-$12,000 of revenue per month in a 26,000 populated market.

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The SNA Foundation has launched a new program that is designed to put innovation on the fast track. The Local Media Innovation Alliance is a membership-based program that will provide monthly research papers and related webinars that will focus on the following:

  • New and sustainable business models in the digital age
  • Monetizing the digital side of the business
  • New content strategies
  • Promising new trends in all areas of multi-media publishing
  • Mobile, tablets, and more

The reports will focus on promising trends/opportunities from local media companies of all kinds including newspapers, pure plays, radio, TV, directories, and more. Membership is open to all local media outlets.

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