100 ways to generate revenue:
This session was merged with Josh Wolf’s session about the very clever idea of getting a community based retail operation (brew-pub, for instance, or coffee roaster) that could subsidize the journalism. We never got to fully play with this idea.
We began by polling people present to see where revenue comes from in the organizations they work with.
Callie Carswell of High Country News: 10 percent advertising, 30 percent subscriptions, 1/3 grants, 1/3 individual donors
Russ Baker of Whowhatwhy.org–100 percent individual donors.
Anthony Shawcross, Open media fdn– 60-70 percent, earned income–communications services, subsidizes citizen journalism. 30 percent grants and donated moneys.
Colorado Public News–funded by indiviudal donors and grants…even with the huge influx of money
Michelle Ferrier of Locally Grown News: For profit–consulting, using intellectual capital in work with farmers markets
Kelly McBride of Poynter: Tampa Bay times is owned by Poynter– previously funded us. But it’s no longer profitable… now, the goal is to just not lose money. Poynter gets additional revenue from advertising, consulting, educations, private donations.
Josh Wolf suggested freely distributed print publications subsidized entirely by ads…
Dan Petty of the Denver Post: Subscription, ads, and now, strategic marketing consulting, including social media, google adwords, facebook ads campaign…
Digital advertising pays for the newsroom–200 people–more than $10 million. Some of the ads go into a national ad network….Dallas Morning News has ads trafficked through Denver…
Rita Andolsen said WKYC is also providing add’l services for advertising clients…
The question arose: Could there be a for-profit arm that would subsidize the news…To which someone offered the rejoinder: Can you have for-profit news that doesn’t get corrupted? That got the group focused on the possibility of lobbying for increased government subsidy of the media, which met with two primary objections: editors of for-profit orgs largely don’t want to be beholden to the government, and the political climate is unlikely to prove to be receptive to such a proposal. We agreed to let it go.
A few other models were mentioned:
MedCity News, which focuses on a niche industry and builds community and events around that.
Issue Media Group (FreshWater, PopCity, Model D, and others), which builds coalitions in communities to support coverage of arts, innovation, economic development and emerging trends (not hard news.
Texas Tribune, which has revenue from members, major donors, philanthropy, corporate sponsorships, newsletter subscriptions, earned revenue (NYT partnership), and events (>$900K in 2012).
Yes Magazine–ongoing support, distributed support, 1700 members, giving monthly. … sales, subscriptions, swag, book, book publishing.