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Entries for the 'Innovation Mission' Category

ORDER TODAY LMA Members & Association Partners - $379 Non-Members - $499   "This year it...

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Brock Berry, VP at AdTaxi Networks opened up The Denver Post’s boardroom to the group and launched into an overview of AdTaxi.

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Peter Krasilovsky, a senior analyst with BIA/Kelsey, made a presentation to the Innovation Mission group that focused on the importance of personalization and verticalization in the coming years.

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Dan Schaub, Corporate Director of Audience Development for The McClatchy Company kicked off the Innovation Mission with a presentation titled “Audience Strategies: 2013 and beyond.” See McClatchy's Top 10 Recommendations for 2013.

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Week-long study tour includes visits to Facebook and Plug and Play Tech CenterInnovastion Mission

A terrific agenda has been planned for the 2013 Local Media Foundation Innovation Mission. A visit to Facebook headlines the list of innovative media and technology company meetings this year along with The Plug and Play Tech Center, one of Silicon Valley's leading start-up business accelerators. 

Innovation Mission attendees will also meet with top executives from the San Francisco Chronicle, The McClatchy Company and The Denver Post/AdTaxi. In addition to these confirmed meetings, Twitter and Craigslist have also been invited; we are working on final confirmation details with each of them.

Attendance is limited to the first 24 people that register and we expect to sell out! READ MORE>>

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Keynote Presentation: Real Estate – Multimedia Packages That Work

By Al Cupo, vice president, Local Media Association

Presented by: Barbara Kleban, Managing Broker, Coldwell Banker

Barbara Kleban informed and entertained conference participants with her fast moving and insightful presentation. Barbara covered everything from local agents compensation programs to actionable suggestions that local publications can implement immediately to gain more R.E. business.

First and foremost, Barbara said that all R.E. agents must be ‘Googleable’, meaning they must show-up on search pages as much as possible. She went on to suggest that local newspapers assist agents by developing a real estate agent directory to assist with their SEO program...

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By Al Cupo, vice president, Local Media Association

Keynote Presentation: Leading Through Change

Presented by: Bill Cummings, former Senior Director of Advertising, Freedom Communications

Bill Cummings began day one of the conference with a fast paced look at how newspapers can embrace the kind of change that will immediately impact their bottom line. As his first slide said: If you change nothing, nothing will change.
Bill covered a great deal of information during his one-hour presentation. The following list represents a snap-shot of the many suggestions he shared with the conference participants:

Creating a Culture of Change
  • Become a purpose driven sales organization
  • Equip all sales people to be able to see value and communicate the purpose to their advertiser for choosing to engage your services.
  • Understand the purpose of a specific advertising product or feature and seek out new advertisers that could benefit from similar results.

“Romance the Customer”...

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Now Available for purchase for only $259

We are pleased to announce the June Local Media Innovation Alliance report: 360° Advertising Sales Strategies, is now available for purchase. This month’s report features the top takeaways from the recent WAN-IFRA study tour that focused on 360° advertising sales strategies. Nancy Lane, President Local Media Association, attended this event along with Local Media Foundation Chairman of the Board Steve Parker. Both returned inspired and eager to share our learnings with the industry.

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By Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association

The final meeting during last week’s West Coast Innovation Mission was a two-hour exchange to share top takeaways from the trip and to develop a list of follow up items.

Top Takeaways included:
  • Google surveys: at least eight of the attendees were going to sign up right away to start using this revenue-producing product (click here more details)
  • Almost everyone in the group is going to identity the hottest opportunities in their market using the Borrell Compass report when they get home and then develop plans to exploit them.
  • Many are going to launch digital agency services in the very near future.
  • All are going to consider strategic partnerships. As one attendee said, “we are the pretty girl at the dance right now, everyone wants to dance with us”. For many, the Google opportunities were of great interest.
  • Several are going to certify their sales team to sell Google AdWords.
  • The group thinks that we need to come together more as an industry and work together on more projects.
  • Many want to incorporate e-commerce strategies beyond deals as a result of what they learned from fellow attendee Eric Bright from Deseret Digital.
  • Many are going to make changes to their culture as a result of attending the meetings with Google and Fisher. They liked the cohesive team atmosphere at Fisher and the TGIF meetings at Google in particular.
  • “Show print some love.” There needs to be more of a balance and we need to innovate on the print side too (message came from three different presentations).
  • Most are going to step up their social strategies on both the audience and advertising side.
The full report, complete with all of the top takeaways will be available in the next few weeks. Contact Tanya Henderson to order your copy (

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Adam Burnham, Digital First

By Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association

Journal Register Company is now in the very top tier when it comes to percent of total advertising coming from digital, surpassing even the McClatchy Company's impressive 22%. This has happened in a short time (less than three years) since John Paton declared that the company would follow a "digital-first" strategy.

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By Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association

Innovation Mission attendees are visiting Google’s world headquarters today in Sunnyvale, Ca. In addition to the many media partnership opportunities, attendees also wanted to learn about the tremendous culture of innovation that exists. Chris Connelly from Google’s “People Operations” provided an inspiring session to open the day.

When the company went public in 2004, Google’s founder proclaimed “We are not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one." The company grew from 3,000 to 33,000 employees since that time and they have been successful at maintaining an enviable culture that is based on freedom, teamwork and idea sharing.

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Attendees from the West Coast Innovation Mission have been asked to provide some of their top takeaways and thoughts on what they’ve experienced during this week-long innovation tour.

Dan Easton photo
Dan Easton

From Dan Easton, Co-Publisher, Victoria Advocate

  • Need to look at social channels beyond Facebook and Twitter.
  • Focus on what video content works online - not all of it works, and it's relatively costly to do.
  • Display real-time analytics in the newsroom to provide immediate feedback on what is driving traffic.
Joe Boydston photo
Joe Boydston

From Joe Boydston, Vice President of Technology and New Media, Daily Republic

  • Wikipedia: Innovation is the process of making improvements to something established by introducing something better and, as a consequence, new.
  • AT&T holdings delivers on this by combining its technology, brand and business model based on scarcity.
  • The take away for me was inspired by a comment by @cleepost : we need to determine if it makes sense for us to pursue a partnership that provides lower net, but higher margin products. Does this compliment or distract from our goals?
  • AT&T technology and positioning is compelling. My question is : Does a national directory offering add durable value to our brand?

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Nick Burgoyne, Executive Director, Business Development, YP .com pictured with Ben Shaw, Chief Digital Officer, Shaw Suburban Media

By Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association


The West Coast Innovation Mission attendees spent the morning visiting with senior executives from, formerly AT&T Interactive. Their company sells over $1 billion dollars in digital revenue on their 170 online and mobile sites and apps. They have 75 million monthly uniques on and users conduct over 2 billion annual searches.

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Highly Innovative Team at Black Press

By Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association

The Innovation Mission spent most of the day on Tuesday visiting with top executives from Black Press's Canadian division. This highly innovative company makes no apologies for the value that they put on print. They shared their top revenue ideas (both print and digital) and hosted an inspiring day. Highlights from the visit include:

• President & COO Rick O'Connor told the group " we are not in the digital advertising agency business -it’s a distraction that we don’t need”

• They purchased a site a few years ago: that now boasts 1.3 million UV’s per month and rivals Kijiji and Craigslist. It is a free classified site that makes money via upsells, banners, sponsorships and affiliate programs. Visit for an example. All of the sites are localized by town. This is a very successful digital product for them. 

• Events are huge for them, especially those focused on community leaders. A new one, "100 most influential people" is also driving a lot of revenue. 

• Contests are also huge for them. Recent ones include: "Win a Sick Civic" and "The Intern" (similar to The Apprentice)

• Their guiding principle: “The customer is the center of our focus”

• Eight free dailies that were launched a few years ago are doing very well, especially in suburban markets

• They instituted pay walls (they don't like that term - they call them e-subscriptions) for all of their paid products and in many cases the print circulation also increased as a result. They do NOT use the metered pay wall approach - it is "cold turkey". 


Next up: AT&T Interactive and Using Borrell Compass Reports to Drive Revenue

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Dave Schmall, Director of Digital Development, Swift Communications; Emily Walsh-Parry, MultiMedia Publisher, The Observer Group with Ioana Straeter, Executive Director, WAN-IFRA.

IM West attendees on the start of a week-long tour of innovation!

Travis Mayfield From Fisher Communications delivering a very passionate session on audience development and using tools of social media.

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by Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association

Session two at Fisher Communications focused on content strategies. Their mantra is "original, unique, shareable".

Highlights include:

They are agnostic and will put their content anywhere (like pinterest for example)

They suggest adding photos to your Facebook postings; will result in more shares, likes and views.

"Time wasters are OK too". Some of their most viewed stories are just interesting (and may not even be tied to the local market. Example: Dick Clark's Flintstones style house for sale).

They provided iPhones to all of their field crews (over 150 company wide) to send in photos and videos. After massive training (how to use the iPhone), it "just took off". Training was critical.

Another mantra that they preach: "the biggest driver of new audience is the audience that we already have".

They credit "real time analytics from Google" for helping with the culture change in the newsroom (showing which stories are getting the most views).

Stay tuned for more updates throughout the day.


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By Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association


Innovation Mission attendees are spending much of today at Fisher Communications in Seattle. This highly innovative media company owns over 125 local web sites and 13 TV stations in the Pacific Northwest.

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Pictured from left:  Samantha Johnston, Executive Director, Colorado Press Association; Kimberly Wilson, President and Publisher,  Schurz Communications/The South Bend Tribune; Susan Cantrell, Vice President, Sales and Advertising, Lawrence Journal-World and Eric Bright, Vice President of E-Commerce, Deseret Digital Media


By Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association

The Local Media Innovation Mission officially kicked off yesterday in Seattle with twenty senior level local media executives. Afternoon sessions featured key takeaways from the recent WAN-IFRA study tour and World Advertising Conference presented by Local Media Association president Nancy Lane and WAN-IFRA Executive Director, Publishing and Advertising, Ioana Strater.

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