Innovation – The Key to Mainstream Media’s Survival

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According to SFgate.com, the San Francisco Chronicle is cutting staff by 25%. Yep, 25% folks. That’s huge.

That means nearly 80 reporters, editors, photographers and other newsroom staff will be let go in addition to 20 other employees.According to Chronicle Publisher Frank Vega,they’re “not getting into any specifics at this point. It’s fairly common knowledge that we have had a tough financial row here for several years. As we continue to evaluate our situation, unfortunately continued belt-tightening is necessary.”From the article posted on SFgate.com:”Vega declined to say whether the paper is continuing to lose $1 million a week, as Hearst attorney Daniel Wall stated in court in November during a hearing on an antitrust suit filed by San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly.”

This is one more example of mainstream media continuing its slow crumble. We won’t see it disappear altogether for a long while yet, but we’ve all seen this happening to print media for years, as the internet and its user-base has become far more robust and advanced. This is old hat I know, but its more relevant than ever right now.

Though many papers, magazines and other types of print media are segueing into the online arena, they aren’t producing any significant kinds of online revenue models, so they continue losing money.

What print media needs to do is stop holding on to tradition so tightly and release their fear of the new. They need to concentrate on creating sites that cash flow and are monetized; there are many, many ways to do this. They need to pry themselves out of stagnation and get creative, supplementing their print media with an online source of revenue. Many print magazines and newspapers have been very successful in this respect, but they are the innovators of their breed, not the average.

A great example of this innovation can be found in one of our recent clients, RISMedia. One of the leading real estate news and business development sites, they have struck an excellent balance between success online and off, embracing the future of social media and the web while still maintaining their considerable influence offline.


Innovation – The Key to Mainstream Media’s Survival
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