There are lessons to be learned from these innovative newspapers 2/3/18

The finalists for the Mega-Innovation Award have been announced. Read this story to see which companies placed in the top four. The winner will be announced Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the Mega-Conference.

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Local newspaper also provides local TV 2/24/17

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Calkins Media was the recipient of the Mega-Innovation Award presented Friday afternoon at the Key Executives Mega-Conference.

When Calkins Media was named a finalist for last year's Mega-Innovation award, its video stream produced by the Bucks County Courier Times was a repeating four-hour content block. Now, it is essentially a local TV station.

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Print classifieds merge with digital 2/24/17

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

To revive classified advertising, the Albuquerque Journal linked its print product to smartphones. The result has been a positive swing of more than $70 per ad.

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At McClatchy, everyone can innovate 2/24/17

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Despite the industry-wide focus on digital, many a newspaper company is still trying to figure out how to make money at it. Revenue from digital often makes up only a small percentage of total annual revenue even if the percentage is growing.

But McClatchy's answer to that question as asked on the Mega-Innovation Award entry form is an eye-popping 72 percent. Yes, digital revenue made up 72 percent of total revenue over the past 12 months.

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The Sway's marketing tactics are a little bit different 2/24/17

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

If there's another newspaper with a beer named after its innovation, we haven't heard about it.

The Pilot publishes Wednesdays and Sundays and circulates 12,500 papers in Southern Pines, N.C. It, like many other papers, looked for a way to reach millennials with advertising and news while capitalizing on the services offered by its in-house First Flight Digital operation.

What The Pilot came up with does not involve top executives at the paper, and it isn't afraid to take a risk. The name of the product is The Sway, and it's an email newsletter "that delivers bite-sized information with a funny, snappy voice," according to the paper's entry.

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Innovation Award finalists to present this afternoon at Mega-Conference 2/24/17

Learn from these innovative companies at the Key Executives Mega-Conference.

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Finalists selected for Mega-Innovation Award 1/31/17

Learn from these innovative companies at the Key Executives Mega-Conference. Register today.

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Break-through innovation happens when you target non-consumers 2/25/16

By Cindy Durham, SNPA assistant executive director

Break-through innovation tends to happen when industries focus on non-consumers, the judge for the inaugural Mega-Innovation Award told publishers during the closing session of the Key Executives Mega-Conference.

Contest judge Michael Maness, innovator-in-residence at Harvard Business School, said: "If you focus on people who aren't using anything that you do and build a solution for them, that tends to be a solution that gets adopted by other people. So, you want to be focused on segments in your communities where there's no heavy consumption."

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Local news goes Over-The-Top 2/24/16

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Streaming video on Over-The-Top platforms, Calkins Media Incorporated newspapers are now also "micro TV stations."

In just a couple of years, the Bucks County Courier Times in Pennsylvania and its sisters newspapers in Calkins Philadelphia Region have incorporated OTT channels into their routine operations, said Emily Dresslar, director of strategic partnerships for Calkins Digital. Calkins ABC-TV affiliate stations have adopted the technology as well.

"The key was not bringing on a whole new video team, which is the route some newspapers have gone, but transforming our newsrooms so that photographers became videographers, and reporters became print reporters as well as video reporters," Dresslar said. "A couple of years ago what we wanted didn't exist in the market, so we built it ourselves."

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A culture of innovation 2/24/16

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

The Oklahoman Media Company is always willing to try something new.

"We have tried to create a culture here of ongoing innovation," said Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman. No single strategy is more important than another, and all employees are expected to contribute and improve.

The result is a dozen or more innovations over the last several years, not just one or two. The core goals are to increase audience and engage readers through news, advertising, digital, a TV studio, social media or the giant video screen on the side of the newspaper building in downtown Oklahoma City.

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