Washington Times, Culligan aiming for conservative readership


Twenty-five years ago, The Washington Times wanted to be a communications company.

“We finally are, and all the stories we have to tell are similar,” Tom Culligan said. 

The Times’ chief revenue and marketing officer, as well as the third speaker in Sunday’s opening INMA World Congress “brainsnack” seminar, spoke about creating a global media company from a one-market newspaper. 

The Washington Times is a clear, conservative national company with a growing conservative base and a clear understanding of who they are based on the values of news and opinions out of Washington, Culligan said.

“There’s also opportunity across the United States,” he said. “The question is not about politics; it’s about life.” 

More than 40% of The Washington Times’ readers consider themselves conservatives and, when multiplied across the rest of the United States, “There’s your market,” he said. 

He presented a graph representing conservatives as a blue line and liberals as a yellow line, and the two lines intersected. The Washington Times falls on the far right side of the blue line. Other news media on that side of the right line were Country Music Television and Fox News. On the left, liberals read The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Culligan discussed other media that The Washington Times partners with, including its Web site, the washingtontimes.com, news247.com and national radio, American Morning News.

“Washington has always been very important,” Culligan said. “It is one of the most important news sites in the world.”

Demographically, Culligan said that the Times gets more views from regions than their own, including the New York area, the Texas area and, by far the largest, southern California. Numerically, Culligan said 85% of the Times readers are outside of Washington.

Culligan also emphasised how important e-mail is as its own medium: “It should be part of your medium mix. That allows you to take stronger advantage of the media market. It’s not just another tool.” 

The company’s new goal is to reach 40 million customers through e-mail.

Overall, the newspaper’s strength is that it provides vital news from Washington, Culligan said.

“We’re clear. This is what we’ve covered, this is how we covered it, and this is our opinion,” he said about the newspaper’s message. 

Currently, the Times’ main goal is to make major changes in regards to the dominant medium. They want to be able to say, “Look at all we did. Look at what we accomplished,” he said.

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