Daily Voice Shows Scale and High CPMs Can Mix in Hyperlocal News

Trying to scale community news has many pitfalls. Sites that go for scale can end up publishing glorified “bulletin boards” as they seek to spread budget-limited journalistic resources across multiple communities. The end result can be bottom-fishing remnant CPMs that can be as low as $1. Carll Tucker, CEO of six-year-old Daily Voice, which recently expanded into North Jersey, says its scaling model has produced average CPMs that “hover a few pennies under $8.”

Missing from ‘Spotlight’ Movie: How News Sites Pay for Top-Quality Investigative Journalism

The Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigative team uncovered the pedophile priest scandal in the Catholic Church, but for all the acclaim the reporting won, it didn’t save the paper from a catastrophic financial decline that nearly put the Globe out of business. To understand how such journalistic success could be followed by such financial failure, Street Fight spoke with Dan Kennedy, associate professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University, who has written extensively about the subject.

Swiftype’s Riley: Site Search Can Make News More Compelling

The importance of relevant searches extends beyond search engines. For publishers, custom site search that helps make better decisions about how to maximize the impact of their content, know and understand the likes of their users, and increase their level of engagement can make a material difference in their business. “The key to building a relevant search experience is blending complex signals together and ensuring your site search algorithm is always improving,” said Swiftype co-founder Matt Riley.

Local News Media on Ad Blockers: ‘We’re Not Hemorrhaging Revenue’

Ad blocking on mobile has been in the spotlight since Apple launched its iOS 9 operating system in September. “The loss from ad blockers appears to be more of an opportunity loss for publishers than an actual revenue loss,” said Thomas Sly, E. W. Scripps Co. vp of digital revenue and chair of the Local Media Consortium committee established to respond to the ad-blocking threat.

Classroom as Incubator: University of Florida Produces National Health Site for Young Adults

Every institution of higher learning has myriad news sources, from official newspapers to social media platforms. Some college publications have ambitions and appeal that transcend the campus boundaries. One such example is The Student Body, which emerged from a class at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications in Gainesville and now aims to reach a national audience.

The Challenge for ‘Indie’ News Sites: Monetizing Highly Engaged Audiences

When they met at their recent Chicago convention, independent community publishers and editors talked a lot about what might be called “reve-news.” On everybody’s mind at the Local Independent Online Newspaper (LION) Publishers’ annual meeting was how to monetize news. Even weddings and obituaries can contribute to local news publishers’ bottom line.

Report: Executive Survey on Hyperlocal Tech and Tactics

What’s on the mind of technology and marketing suppliers targeting the connected local economy? They’re keen on mobile — perhaps too keen — but struggling with their own companies’ brand awareness. The dichotomy between small businesses and national chains that sell locally is profound, and presents difficult challenges in scaling to support either, let alone both, according to Street Fight Insights analysis.

Franchises Make Scale Profitable for TAPinto.net’s Two-State Network

TAPinto.net has taken its New Jersey-centered franchise model for community news to adjacent and competitive Westchester and Putnam Counties in New York State’s heavily suburban Lower Hudson Valley. In this Q&A, founder and CEO Mike Shapiro explains how he’s been able to scale his seven-year-old community network through franchising, and do it largely through self-financing.

How Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Uses Quality Journalism to Pay the Bills

Like other dailies, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has taken big hits in advertising and distribution revenue on the print side, but it’s still profitable. To find out how the Journal Sentinel uses quality journalism to stay in the black, Street Fight spoke with editor and senior vice president George Stanley.

Local Papers Unload on Viewability Bad Actors and ‘Garbage Inventory’

Ever since a 2014 Google study documented that 52 percent of ad impressions actually were not seen by users, viewability has been a front-burner issue for marketers and publishers alike. The digital platforms of local newspapers serve up billions of ad impressions monthly, putting these publishers right in the middle of the issue. To find out how they’re responding, Street Fight spoke with Tobias Bennett, the Local Media Consortium’s advertising expert.

How Gannett’s Cost-Cutting and Breakthrough Video Ads Helped Land Journal Media Group

In less than six months, the newly constituted Journal Media Group did a 180-degree about-face, shifting from a strategy focused on acquisitions to being acquired by Gannett. The USA Today publisher brought two things that JMG couldn’t match: The proven ability to consistently wring substantial cost savings out of expansion and a digital ad strategy that holds the promise of making everybody — advertisers, audiences, and stockholders — happy.

The Struggle to Save Local News Is Not Doomed

The current state of local news in the technology-driven information age continues to be a hotly debated topic in industry circles. There’s more consensus around the grim prospects for local print media, and more debate about the outlook for independent local news sites. Understanding where the future lies for local news requires a thorough parsing of both positions.

How Hearst Newspapers Became the Leader in Its Peer Group

Under president Mark E. Aldam, Hearst Newspapers is going full bore on digital, creating in-house digital marketing services and betting big on programmatic advertising. In our interview, Aldam explains how Hearst has become a top performer in the still financially challenged newspaper industry.

Executive Survey: What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Connected Local Economy

Preliminary results from our forthcoming executive survey suggest that industry players are investing the most in mobile, followed by data and analytics. Respondents indicated that mobile marketing and managing company websites were the biggest challenges for local merchants, along with SEO and listings management. More complete survey results will be revealed at our upcoming Street Fight Summit in New York City.

On 2nd Birthday, Fast-Growing ‘Indie’ San Angelo Live Clicks Its Spurs

Joe Hyde, founder and publisher of San Angelo Live, is seeing his independent community news site in West Texas hit $60,000 in monthly ad revenue. And on its second anniversary, the site continues to attract more unique visitors than the site of its 131-year-old “legacy” competitor.

‘Indie’ Times of San Diego Marches Northward With Twin Site in Metro L.A.

Digital media vet Chris Jennewein left Patch after the Aol sale, and returned to San Diego to launch the independent Times of San Diego. He is now a direct competitor to the Union-Tribune, and has started a twin regional site called MyNewsLa.com.

Study: Local Advertisers Are Leaving Behind $14 Billion in Co-op Marketing Every Year

According to the report from Netsertive and Borrell Associates, 38 percent of local businesses cited “too much paperwork” as the greatest barrier to co-op marketing, and another 38 percent cited “too many rules.”

How the Local Media Consortium Is Leveraging Its Relationship With Google for Higher CPMs

The Local Media Consortium is working to turn “digital dimes” back into the dollars. To see how the group is progressing, we recently spoke with Tobias Bennett, LMC’s “programmatic advertising champion.”

Revived Daily Voice Expands Into North Jersey With 22 New Sites

Pushed to near death two-and-a-half years ago by heavy losses, regional community news network Daily Voice has resurrected itself, expanding in suburban Connecticut and New York State — and now the network is about to cross the Hudson River into northern New Jersey.

A Deeper Look at ‘Michele’s List’ of Independent Local News Sites Reveals a Gloomier Picture

After taking a second, closer look at “Michele’s List,” I’m more worried about independent community news sites. I was surprised to see that more than half of them generate only $50,000 or less in revenue, hardly enough to run a “Ramen-noodle”-type operation.