Kroger's Advertising Strategy

Michael Wilhite, vice president of data strategy, 84.51° (Kroger)
By Cindy Durham, assistant executive director, SNPA

By 2021, 90 percent of Kroger’s in-store sales are expected to be influenced by digital in some way, Michael Wilhite told attendees at the Mega-Conference last Tuesday.

Wilhite is vice president of data strategy for 84.51° – the analytics arm of Kroger. This division employs a sophisticated, proprietary suite of tools and technology to turn customer data into knowledge. Its aim is to put the customer at the center of every business decision.

Kroger’s advertising strategy is centered on using big data and knowledge about its customers to cut through the clutter to drive real connections and sales.

While Kroger’s heritage is that of a grocery retailer, Kroger Precision Marketing, which launched in the Fall of 2017, is giving the company the opportunity to expand its business through exclusive touchpoints: advertising on Kroger channels, word-of-mouth advertising and advertising across the web.

Calendar of Events
March 15, 2018

The price of admission: submit a successful revenue idea by March 12. Participants who submit an idea will gain access to the video conference and the entire collection of ideas submitted. Send one idea, get many more.

SNPA People

Conan Gallaty

Conan Gallaty, one of the country's leaders in digital publishing and innovation, has been named chief digital officer of the Tampa Bay Times.

Kevin Craig

AMG/Parade President and CEO Chuck Allen has announced the retirement of its executive vice president and director of newspaper relations, Dave Barber, effective July 31. Kevin Craig, who was AMG/Parade's senior vice president of newspaper relations has been named director, effective immediately. Barber will work in partnership with Craig for a transitional period until his official retirement.

Kristin Roberts

McClatchy has named Kristin Roberts regional editor of the company's East region. Roberts, currently executive editor of McClatchy's Washington Bureau, will oversee nine newsrooms.

J. Todd Foster

The Daily Times in Maryville, Tenn., has named veteran editor and reporter and native Tennessean J. Todd Foster as editor.

Foster succeeds Frank "Buzz" Trexler, who retired Nov. 30 after nearly three decades of leading The Daily Times' newsroom.

P2P Initiative

Submit just one revenue idea to SNPA by the end of the day Monday and you'll get the entire collection in return!

Publishers who submit an idea also will be able to participate in a free one-hour video conference on "Growing Revenue" from 2-3 p.m. (EDT) on March 15. It takes just one hour of your time – no fees, no travel – on a topic every publisher needs, with guaranteed ROI!

To participate, you must submit a revenue idea by March 12. Publishers who submit an idea will get login instructions and copies of the entire collection of ideas that are submitted by other publishers. Send one idea, get many more.

No budget?  No travel?  NO PROBLEM!

To be included and hear how other publishers are making money:

  • Send an email by March 12 to Edward VanHorn (edward@snpa.org) with the subject line: P2P.
  • Include details about at least one revenue-generating idea that your newspaper has found successful, and supporting materials that illustrates the idea.
  • Check your in box for instructions for joining the conference.

We've heard you loud and clear.  Travel doesn't work for you.  Time away from the office is nearly impossible.  Those barriers have been removed.

Send in your idea, and let SNPA help you grow your business!

Key Executives Mega-Conference

Link below includes 3-minute video clip.

The importance of the newsroom and of newspapers publishing engaging, relevant, local news was emphasized again and again by media executives on the "Investing in Newspapers" panel at the recent Key Executives Mega-Conference.

Over the last 13 years, the newspaper industry has lost more than 1,400 newspapers in the U.S. to closures, mergers and the downsizing of smaller free-standing newspapers that have become editions of larger regional ones, said Penelope Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair, Digital Media Economics, School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

"We've lost more than 1,000 newspapers," she said, "but the decline in circulation has been even more dramatic. It's been halved. Total print circulation – that includes all weeklies and dailies – has declined from 117 million to 67 million, the biggest drop coming in dailies."

She said, "The average print circulation of a daily newspaper in 2018 is 20,000. Since 2004, more than a third of all newspapers have changed hands and about half of them have changed hands two times or more."

When calculcated based on the number of newspapers (not on the circulation of those papers), she said the top 25 companies own a third of the nation's newspapers and control about 50 percent of print circulation.

Three of those companies – Adams Publishing Group, Hearst and AIM Media Management – were among the conference panelists.

Mark Adams of Adams Publishing Group - Investing in Newspapers in 2018 panel

View a photo gallery of pictures from the Mega-Conference. Click here

Industry News

New Media Investment Group Inc., one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of publications, announced today that it has agreed to acquire the Austin American-Statesman and its niche publications and companion websites from Cox Media Group, LLC for $47.5 million.


Four SNPA members made the list of Editor & Publisher's "10 Newspapers That Do it Right." And, another five were recognized among the Honorable Mentions. Congratulations!


The Associated Press has announced an enhanced collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education that will further expand the news agency's reporting on health and science over the next three years.


By Jennifer Nelson, Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

Journalists face a number of risks in their work. Sometimes it’s covering a dangerous news situation like a wildfire or a mass shooting. At other times, it’s a less obvious threat that lurks in the newsroom such as repetitive motion injuries brought on by or made worse by spending a long day in front of a computer. But if journalists recognize the risk factors and take precautionary steps, they can greatly reduce the chances of being injured, say Columbia, Mo., ergonomic specialists, two of which are also physical therapists.


Matt Coen
By Matt Coen, president and co-founder, Second Street

At this year's Second Street Awards, the best citywide ballots of 2017 were recognized.

SNPA Jobs Network

Digital Media Consultant, Flypaper, Chattanooga, Tenn.
This is a selling position primarily focused on developing new business by selling digital packages comprised of a full array of our digital portfolio, supplemented with print, to new and non-traditional customers. Learn more and submit your resume

President, Augusta Chronicle Media, Augusta, Ga.
This position is accountable for the daily operation of the print and digital media property business including overseeing news, production, circulation, advertising, promotions, events, business office, human resources and information services in a way that optimize revenue and profit goals. Learn more and submit your resume

Acquisition Editor, Pediment Publishing, Battle Ground, Wash.
Pediment Publishing is seeking an acquisition editor to be part of a team publishing books of impeccable quality, targeting the interests of our respective media partners' audiences. Learn more and submit your resume

Retail/National Sales Manager, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, Fla.
The primary responsibility of the Sales Manager is to increase print and digital advertising revenues by actively engaging with account executives in field calls, client visits and overall revenue driving activities. Learn more and submit your resume

Post your job openings with SNPA. There's no cost to SNPA members. If you have any difficulty posting your openings, send the information for your employment listings to cindy@snpa.org.

Training and Development

An overview of how to use Google Analytics. We will take a look at how the numbers can help drive major projects, and what you can be bringing to your news meetings. Sherri Horton, GateHouse's data scientist, will help you look into this important field.

SNPA members can register FREE for this March 22 webinar.


What can reporters and others do to grab audio consistently? And then, putting it all together: What kind of equipment does your newsroom have/need? What analytics should newsrooms be looking at?

SNPA members can register at no cost for this April 19 webinar.

Reader's Corner

News and commentary of interest to journalism innovators and entrepreneurs. Read the latest from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

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