Altus partner, Dave Chase, continues to opine on The Great Restructuring taking place in local media. His latest piece on business models in local media was picked up by the Online Journalism Review (OJR). The OJR is part of The Knight Digital Media Center.
The Knight Digital Media Center is a partnership of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. The Center is funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Knight Digital Media Center was launched in April 2006 to focus on helping journalists succeed in the rapidly changing media landscape of the 21st Century.
At the heart of addressing the business model challenge for local media is developing a low cost customer acquisition model. Newspapers are only the first to face a crisis – it’s just a matter of time before local TV and radio face a similar crisis. In their situation, many of them rest on an asset that is no longer a major barrier to entry. As the newspapers found out that being the only ones to be able to afford an extremely expensive printing press didn’t provide them an advantage, the ability to broadcast into local markets with terrestial assets no longer provides a competitive barrier to entry for TV and radio.
In all of these cases, these organizations largely have salesforces made up of Farmers, not Hunters that doesn’t position them well to remake themselves with a revenue stream in a new arena. Altus has been working on the solution to that issue and have seen success with many clients even in the face of a tough economic climate.