Farewell blog post: Some parting words about what our industry needs to do 11/28/17

By Steve Gray, Morris Publishing Group

This may be my final blog post, for reasons I explain in its opening paragraphs.

So I'm using this last opportunity to sum up the huge challenge that faces newspaper companies – and the things I believe could possibly turn the tide from ongoing decline to growth.

It's a very tall order – but with the right leadership and commitment of resources, perhaps it could be done.

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New company acquires Oklahoma dailies 10/3/17

A newly formed media group with Oklahoma ties has purchased three newspapers in the southern part of the state from Civitas Media.

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Family ownership: unique problems and solutions 9/25/17

By Steve Gray, vice president of strategy and innovation, Morris Communications

Family ownership of a media company or any other kind of company can be a beautiful thing. But it has its own unique challenges and solutions.

These are rarely discussed in the open, either inside the company or at industry conferences. But there's a whole world of solutions and best practices available for family owners, if you know where to find them.

If you're a member of an owning family, or if you work for a family-owned company, Steve Gray's latest blog post may help you see where to look.

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Les Simpson elected president of SNPA for 2017-18 9/11/17

Lester T. Simpson, publisher of the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News, was elected president of SNPA for 2017-18 on Monday afternoon during the SNPA-Inland Annual Meeting. Read this article for news about the election of additional officers and directors.

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Les Simpson nominated as president of SNPA for 2017-18 8/29/17

Lester T. Simpson, publisher of the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News, will be nominated during the SNPA-Inland Annual Meeting to be the next president of SNPA.

SNPA members will elect officers for 2017-18 on Monday afternoon, Sept. 11, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Read this article to see who has been nominated to the SNPA Board of Directors.

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In Jacksonville, a new business model for the local editorial voice 6/27/17

By Steve Gray, vice president of strategy and innovation, Morris Communications

Can a strong editorial voice become the center of a new local business model?

Yes, it can.

It's happening right now in Jacksonville, Fla., where Mark Nusbaum, publisher of The Florida Times-Union, has launched a new magazine with the mission of reviving the flagging downtown.

This is local advocacy journalism of a high order – an extension of The Times-Union's editorial page. And Mark and company have crafted a unique business model around it by recruiting 20 leaders of key institutions as premier partners/sponsors in support of the crusade.

Read this article for the details.

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In the political fray, don't guess at motives - debate the facts 5/23/17

By Steve Gray, vice president of strategy and innovation, Morris Communications

In the superheated political atmosphere that surrounds us, a basic lesson in journalism that I learned as a young editorial writer could help the media cool things down.

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Why the bitter U.S. political divide? Blame the digital information explosion 4/25/17

By Steve Gray, vice president of strategy and innovation, Morris Communications

My son asked me some tough questions recently:

"Do you share this sense that, increasingly, there are two bubbles in America, and that neither has much real interest in learning about the other's perspective? Or maybe that doing so is actually approaching impossibility because of the fact that we're geographically and socially and economically so separated?

"And if so ... is there anything we can do about it?"

In my latest blog post, I did my best to answer him.

Read Steve Gray's column

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A 'Big-J' journalism project for resource-strapped newsrooms 1/24/17

By Steve Gray, vice president of strategy and innovation, Morris Communications

In this moth's Media Reset blog, Steve Gray suggests a project that will make an impact in any community -- and it doesn't take a roomful of Big-J journalists to do it.

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The next media disruption tool: Predictive analytics 1/10/17

By Steve Gray, vice president of strategy and innovation, Morris Communications

Yeah, sure – Big Data. We get it, right?

We all know that the digital age is producing huge amounts of data about consumers and their behavior. And, sure, we know that anybody who's in the marketing and advertising business – like local media companies – needs to get good at it. Right?

Not that we've quite learned how to do it yet. But surely we know – don't we? – that we simply must master it to benefit both ourselves and our customers? And we're working on it, right?

Well, I am. I hope you are, too.

Why? Because somebody is going to bring Big Data to Main Street. If it's not us, Big Data will be the next big wave of disruption in our advertising and marketing business. It's guaranteed to whittle down our local media ad revenues still further.

I've blogged about the huge opportunity and threat of Big Data for local media companies four times in the last 13 months. If you're a regular Media Reset reader, you may be thinking, "What, again!?"

If you're not a regular MediaReset reader, I strongly recommend that you catch up on Big Data and its local media possibilities here.

But I can't stop there. I keep digging deeper to learn more about what Big Data can do and how we can master its potential for ourselves and our customers. And I keep learning.

For the last couple of months, I've been digging into predictive analytics – a narrower niche in the vast expanse of Big Data. It's the sharp cutting edge that is making Big Data even more powerful.

Read the rest of his column

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