Two Newsrooms, One Team
2024 Finalist

Two Newsrooms, One Team

OVB Media

Rosenheim, Germany

Category Newsroom Development

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

OVB MEDIA embarked on an ambitious project with dual objectives: to strategically merge the strengths of its two newsrooms – the traditional newspaper and the digital reach portals – and to achieve a significant milestone in subscription growth. The primary goal was to reach 20.000 active Plus Users  within three years, encompassing both print subscribers utilizing the Plus-product and Plus-only subscribers.


Objective 1: Unification of Competing Newsrooms

The goal here was to foster a seamless integration of two distinct but complementary newsrooms – the print newspaper with 50 people and the digital reach portals with 20 people.

Despite being physically and organizationally separate, both newsrooms working for competing brands, the initiative focused on merging these entities to function effectively as a unified team. This was crucial to harness the unique strengths of each newsroom, thereby propelling the success of the new Plus subscriptions strategy.


Objective 2: Balanced Task Allocation

We also wanted to establish a system of shared responsibilities, where each team is accountable for specific tasks beneficial to both newsrooms.

This involved a meticulous restructuring of workflows and redefining of roles, ensuring that both teams contribute equally to the collective output. The approach was tailored to encourage collaboration, thereby enhancing the efficiency and productivity of each newsroom.


Objective 3: Navigating Print and Digital Priorities

We still needed to strike a balance between the traditional print production and the transformative efforts towards a digital-first approach.

The challenge lay in juggling the ongoing needs of print with the forward-looking digital initiatives. The objective was to maintain the quality and relevance of the print medium while aggressively pursuing digital innovation and subscriber growth.


The overarching goal of these objectives was to not only achieve a significant milestone in our new Plus subscriptions-strategy but also to completely switch the mindset and attitude of both newsrooms towards each other from highly competitive to highly collaborative. By combining the strengths of both newsrooms and focusing on a shared subscription strategy, we aimed to redefine the dynamics within our news organization towards a combined successful digital transformation.


Results for this campaign

Following the ambitious objectives set by ourselves, the results of this transformation journey are both very satisfying and aligned with the initial goals. OVB MEDIA successfully transformed our two distinct newsrooms into a cohesive, digital-first unit without sacrificing any of our journalistic workforce. The traditionally print-focused OVB Heimatzeitungen newsroom and the reach-oriented digital OVB24 newsroom were completely restructured through an internal taskforce, without any external assistance.

Unified Newsroom Operations
This transformation saw the OVB newsroom taking on prime responsibilities in regional reporting and ongoing print production, while the OVB24 newsroom shifted its focus from reach to managing the digital subscription front, overseeing now all seven news portal homepages over both brands and spearheading all audience development initiatives.


Harmonization and Collaborative Growth

A pivotal part of this success story was the implementation of the user-needs model in 2023. This project significantly bolstered the subscription growth. It also led to a complete overhaul of daily production workflows, planning and schedules now shared over both newsrooms. This change was not just structural but also cultural, successfully dissolving the long-standing competition between the two newsrooms. By aligning their goals and operations, OVB MEDIA fostered a harmonious environment focused on a common future.


Achieving Subscription Goals

The culmination of these efforts reflected in the achievement of our ambitious subscription targets. By last year's end, we reached our goal of 20.000 Plus users, a milestone that comprised 12.000 print subscribers and 8.000 Plus subscribers. As another milestone we now reach 10.000 daily active subscribers. 


Maintaining Print Excellence

Despite the intensive focus on digital transformation and the challenges it presented, we managed to not lose sight of our strong roots in print journalism. OVB showed the 4th best performance in Year-over-Year print circulation comparison ranking in Germany.


In summary, we managed to meet our Objectives melding two distinct and culturally very different newsrooms into one functioning unit despite them still staying organizationally independent entities. We proved that adaptability, digital-first strategies, and collaborative focus can coexist with traditional print media success.


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