The INMA Study Tour of Washington, D.C., will explore the different paths to growth strategies: iconic brands re-positioning from local to global, the world’s largest newspaper company, digital pure-plays disrupting political media, and the fast-rising conservative media scene segmenting audiences in new ways.
Gannett, the largest publicly owned newspaper company in the United States, operates 109 local media brands in the US and 160 local news brands online in the United Kingdom. An extensive briefing at its headquarters campus is scheduled to cover insights from the company’s proprietary readership surveys, details of the USA TODAY national content-branding strategy, the growth of its ReachLocal marketing-services agency, and why (and how) the company is shifting from digital subscription sales to membership programs. Speakers will explain how a single digital CMS operates more than 100 individual websites and the company captures and leverage data, which it considers to be “the new oil.”
Politico is the original net-native brand to specialize in politics and government. In addition to consumer-facing news coverage that frequently sets the national agenda, the Politico Pro subscription service provides in-depth coverage of government agencies to lobbyists, elected officials, government employees, lawyers and other members of the power elite. The privately held company created Politico Euro in 2015 to cover the politics, policies and people of the European Union.
Atlantic Media, which has emerged as one of the most ambitious digital brands, traces its history to 1857, when Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow founded the Atlantic Monthly. The venerable company made a major commitment to digital publishing in the late 2000s and has diversified today into brands including The Atlantic, Government Executive Media Group, National Journal and Quartz. The company, which has been owned since 1999 by David Bradley, recently sold a controlling interest to the Emerson Collective, a non-profit foundation endowed by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs. (Yes, the foundation is named after Ralph Waldo Emerson.) INMA delegates will be briefed on the company’s editorial and business strategies, as well as its growing in-house native advertising studio.
National Geographic is an iconic brand that has grown from the familiar yellow-bordered magazine to being a major digital and video presence reaching some 500 million global households each month. Organized originally as a not-for-profit society to fund global exploration, NatGeo has operated in an increasingly close partnership since 2009 with Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox. With Fox agreeing in late 2017 to sell many of its assets to Disney, NatGeo could become a DIsney brand if the transaction proceeds as planned.
U.S. News and World report, which once was one of the the three major newsweeklies in the US, abandoned print in 2010 in order to focus on reinventing itself as a digital-only company. In 2017, the privately held company which now publishes “best of” lists for colleges, medical care, travel and other popular consumer topics, reports that 2017 was the most successful year in 35 years. Editor Brian J. Kelly, who oversaw the pivot from print, will discuss why the decision was made, how it was made and what the company did to execute its successful transformation.
Among possible study tour stops include the Washington Post, Politico, Axios, PBS/NPR, Center for Public Integrity
Among possible study tour stops include Gannett, Vox, Atlantic Media, National Geographic, Blue State Digital