Feb 17, 2021
The last 15 years have not been kind to the local news industry, with thousands of newspapers either reducing staff or closing down entirely. But not all newspapers have been affected equally, and some of the hardest hit chains were owned by hedge funds and private equity firms that had no actual interest in investing in journalism.
Family-owned newspapers seemed to have fared better, and that seems to be the case for Forum Communications, a chain of newspapers and other media outlets situated in the midwest. A few years ago, the company’s newspapers rolled out a digital subscription model, and so far it seems to be performing above expectations.
I recently interviewed Stephanie Schroeder, Forum’s Chief Digital Marketing Officer, about the gargantuan amount of work that went into this pivot and what strategies resulted in the most success.