Old Media Weathering Sea Change, Facing the Storm
Katharine Weymouth, Publisher of The Washington Post, sent out an enlightened/ing email earlier this week addressing the significant changes ahead for Old Media, and how they’re going to survive them. The email, boldly titled “The Road Forward”, talks about how papers must undergo a shift of more than paradigm – but of production, offerings, and planning for the future. The email was sent to the entire company on Wednesday; here’s a telling excerpt:
To expand our revenue base and diversify our business model, we must look for opportunities to create new products, especially in the areas where business and policy intersect. These may include the hosting of specialized conferences for business decision makers with a stake in Washington policy-making, and the development of premium subscription products for business clients….we must make fundamental changes to our business culture. We must focus better on what the consumer indicates they want, and be less quick to emphasize only what we think is important. We must create a nimble, high-performance culture. And we must realign our cost structure to match this strategy. This realignment of our cost structure must be fast. The decline in our revenue base, particularly in classified advertising, requires decisive action. But cutting our cost structure must be done in a way that protects our brand, and lays the foundation for future growth.