2019 Mega-Conference

Betting the future on newsroom transformation

Ken Herts, Amy Maestas and George Stanley
Ken Herts, Amy Maestas and George Stanley
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Find out how your newsroom can adopt a "mini-publisher" perspective to drive audience growth and profitability with editors participating in the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, aka the "Table Stakes" project.

During a Monday general session at the Mega-Conference, learn how two newsrooms are expanding their scope beyond content creation to include financial success, brand quality and digital subscription growth.

The Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative is a program designed to help local news organizations accelerate the transformations of their newsrooms to produce more compelling digital content, engage readers on multiple platforms, build digital revenue streams, and ensure their long-term sustainability.

Ken Herts, director of operations for The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, will moderate a discussion with:

  • Amy Maestas, executive editor of The Durango (Colo.) Herald
  • George Stanley, editor of the Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal Sentinel and regional editor of USA TODAY Network.

"Innovating in small newsrooms can be challenging," Maestas says, "but when you create deliberate pathways to move away from legacy processes and adopt the belief that they are as important as the stories you tell, you can capture new audiences and convert them to loyal readers and subscribers."

Stanley says he and his team continually ask the following questions since participating in the Table Stakes project developed by the Knight Foundation, Lenfest Institute, Temple University and American Press Institute:

  • How can we serve readers better than any other news source in our community and across Wisconsin?
  • How can we engage new audiences?
  • What can we offer that is worth buying a subscription to get?

He said, "In the past year, the Journal Sentinel boosted digital and mobile pageviews by 19 percent, unique visitors by 29 percent and paid digital subscriptions by 140 percent – from a base that already was the largest in its region."

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