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Newspaper Lessons in Transformation for Radio Broadcasters

Newspaper publishers are leading the transformation of media in large part because no corner of the media establishment has been so thoroughly disrupted.

Invariably, that means some in the industry will become leaders while the rest become followers and even also-rans.

Mike Hodges is one of the leaders. He’s President and COO of U-T San Diego (formerly known as the San Diego Union-Tribune), one of the largest and most profitable local media companies in Southern California.

My conversation with Mike was one of the most popular Q&A’s from hivio, the radio ideas festival held this past June. Mike has tons of lessons for broadcasters to take away from his experience as a one-time “digital guy” now at the helm of a fast-evolving local media juggernaut.

You have to watch this Q&A and recognize the magnitude of change all local media companies are facing – including radio broadcasters. In my estimation most broadcasters have not begun to recognize the sweep of the changes on the horizon.

Among the questions Mike answered:

  1. What is a “newspaper company” today, and what lessons does that have for any local market media company?

  2. How would you describe the digital strategy for the brand – it’s not just putting the news online?

  3. What investments did the brand have to make, and how did you figure out what the right investments were?

  4. You provide space for people to try new things – even if they fail. How can you justify that in these times where everything is judged through the lens of short-term profitability?

  5. How do you build a team in these fast-changing times?

  6. How important is it to hire from outside the industry?

  7. Increasingly UTSanDiego is in the business of creating content specifically for advertisers. Can you talk about that?

  8. One of your initiatives is a Rewards program. Can you describe that and why it matters to your larger goal?

  9. Where do you see UTSanDiego in three years? What is it doing for consumers and for clients?

Watch our Q&A from hivio by clicking the image below.

Prefer audio? Try this:

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Over the coming weeks I’ll be rolling out each individual presentation and Q&A from hivio. Stay tuned!

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