October 23, 2013
Al Cupo, VP, Operations, LMA
Two industry professionals squared-off in a Street Fight session titled, "Hyperlocal Publishing in Search of Scale." BuzzMachine’s Jeff Jarvis and CBS Local Digital Media President Ezra Kucharz presented two very different perspectives regarding hyperlocal content. Kucharz explained that CBS has a top-down approach where news stories are covered in the center of the DMA first and then expanded to include smaller markets; the further from the DMA center they are the larger the news story must be in order to make the cut. Jarvis, on the other hand, cited examples of a bottom-up approach to hyperlocal content that can scale successfully when each market has its own business model. Jarvis noted that the DMA as a whole must still be served but that the news reporting in smaller markets must be able to stand-alone and should also be included in larger market coverage. Individual hyperlocal market coverage should serve towns between 50,000 – 60,000 population. Smaller towns within a DMA should be combined. Differences are also evident when it comes to advertising sales in hyperlocal markets. Kucharz pointed towards increased media competition, a finite number of businesses and limited SMB marketing experience as reasons why hyperlocal ad sales are difficult. Jarvis thinks that you can sell ‘real value’ to business owners in small markets if you’re willing to help solve their marketing problems by assisting with their social campaigns, ad content, ad tracking, etc.