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Thursday, October 13, 2005

More On What May Be In Store at News-Sentinel

Knight-Ridder's Tony Ridder writes about new web initiatives and praises News-Sentinel Publisher Mary Jacobus in a recent letter to employees:
Something else that's gratifying - at least to me! - is the way a number of our newsrooms are reaching out to the Web to try new and interesting ways of delivering news and information digitally. In Kansas City, it's the use of video to break news online, pioneered by veteran Kansas City television reporter Mark Hellig, recently hired to teach our staff how to shoot and edit video for the Web site. Other examples? In San Jose, it's Jon Fortt's A+E Interactive (edgy combo of Web page and weekly arts-and-entertainment print section, designed for young audiences).
Targeted publications have become a buzzword in the industry because readers are voting with their eyeballs: They want all kinds of content. We're giving them what they want. Our Circulation, Content and Readership Task Force (CCRTF), led by Fort Wayne News-Sentinel Publisher Mary Jacobus and Kansas City Star Executive Editor Mark Zieman, and involving approximately 80 people, is well launched.

It has resulted in about a dozen projects including: segmentation and data mining, "totally relevant" content focus, new approaches to newspaper marketing shared content with focus on a shopping section (under discussion), a compact - a.k.a. tab - conversion and several others. Just listing them, however, hardly does justice to the work that has gone into the CCRTF. Each project begs careful analysis with regard to resources required and proper market fit. Dozens of people have spent hundreds of hours making those assessments. If there is a better way to manage circulation, the CCRTF will find it.

Full content of letter from Tony Ridder to employees here.

Comments:
>...segmentation and data mining, "totally relevant" content focus, new approaches to newspaper marketing shared content with focus on a shopping section (under discussion), a compact - a.k.a. tab - conversion and several others

What the hell is he talking about?
 
Let me take a stab at this:
Market segmentation and data mining are fairly well understood terms. "Shared content" may mean a mix of editorial (newspaper written content) and advertiser-supplied material. Think of a real estate or automobile section with some of the content supplied by the advertiser. That tends to be a little controversial among professional journalists.
Compact or tab conversion means going to a tabloid size paper (i.e. the size of the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly or Whatzup). This is already done at the News-Sentinel in the Business Monday or Prep Sports sections.
"'Totally relevant' content focus" - you've got me there.
 
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