About Me

  • I'm CEO of Newspeg.com, a social news-sharing platform. I've spent 20 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies. You can read more about me here.

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« Learning From (the Rough First Draft of) History | Main | Between Little Rock and a Hard Place »

May 11, 2009



Here are nine ways newspapers can survive. http://bit.ly/2Smfr

Alan Jacobson


Thanks for mentioning the Californian.

I'm in Bakersfield this week, working on radical redesigns of their print and online products.

Expect a new Californian in print before the end of the summer, with a new web site to folo.

In the meantime, check out The Wilson (NC) Times. Their radical redesign last week has produced 100 new subscribers with only two cancellations, and a 5-week waiting list for new color ad positions.




I just don't get this idea of paying for news....in the old days you pay 25cents, maybe 50cents for a newspaper; just enough to cover the cost of print and delivery. What paid for news was advertising and that should still be the case. The problem? News websites are too timid. They don't want the banner ad to "intrude" for fear of losing the reader. Banner ads should intrude..they should be HUGE, MONSTROUS and in your FACE, just like in print. Once websites get it, banner ads will be as BIG as print ads, taking up half the page. Then they can charge for advertising. It will happen.


your article was just too good, Mark, I have to leave another comment.

Yes, verticals is the future. News sites have more page views than they can sell against? Why? Not targeted? News sites need DOZENS of highly targeted websites reaching niche group. They don't just need page views, they need TARGETED page views!

Expanding the advestiser base? Why don't classified advertisers buy banner ads??? Would you pay $75/month for a nice banner ad? Why NOT? Why be in the classified section? When that happens, revenue will rise.


Newspapers have to absolutely figure out how to be the online advertising destination for LOCAL businesses. They can do that by having a number of different content/advertising platforms, like you mentioned. If they would stop trying to sell their online ads the same way, and to the same market, as they do their print, they would open up a lot more revenue opportunities than they have with their current declining print and anemic online ad revenues.

Newspapers are cutting costs like a lot of different industries, but at the same time, they need to be smarter about how they're working. Vendors, training, and outsourcing need to be part of the mix like they would be in any well managed business.

Neill Watson

Someone just Tweeted this at me:


Alternative views on how the age of free is dying. My view is the same as yoyrs, What's your comment on the article?

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