Convention 2011: Positioning your Organization for the Future

  • Nov 18, 2011

“We’re going to be publishing a newspaper in Dallas seven days a week for a long time.” Those are the words of Jim Moroney, publisher and CEO of The Dallas Morning News. During his presentation, Moroney emphasized the value of the print newspaper and how his publication hopes to extend the runway of the print business through the digital era.

 

Though he opened the presentation with some sobering statistics – the drops in circulation rates and ad revenue since the spring of 2008 - he used them to make a point.  Newspapers must find new revenue streams, while protecting the content and value of their product, if they are to find a way toward sustainability.  The balance of his talk focused on what his news company is doing to grow its brand and revenue. 

 

He started by discussing home delivery price increases.  Moroney’s company studied price elasticity and determined the amount that they could raise prices without losing too much in circulation.  The Dallas Morning News has successfully raised rates for the past four years netting significant additional revenue. 

 

Moroney also advocates commercial printing opportunities.   As he put it, by leveraging the infrastructure that newspapers already have available, they can and should harness additional, potential revenue. His company currently prints a number of major newspapers.

 

Moroney also discussed his newspaper’s “Subscriber Content Initiative,”(he doesn’t like the term paywall).  While all readers can access AP online content (articles they can get multiple other places) for free, the company charges for original content.  The fees vary, depending upon how many channels readers use to access content. 

 

Finally, Moroney emphasized the importance of maintaining the size of the newsroom as a necessary measure to ensure quality and original reporting.. He warned against taking pages out of the paper and encouraged publishers to focus on content that has a high value to their readers. Satisfying readers must be a top priority if we are to maintain and grow revenue into the next decade and beyond. View Moroney's presentation.  

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