Straight talk on newspapers (& TV)

There are some real jewels in this five question interview of Richard Honack, Assistant Dean, Chief Marketing Officer and Adjunct Associate Professor of Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

One of the first things newspapers need to do is step back and look at the world around them to realize that their customers are not waiting for “news” that happened on a deadline-driven cycle. The majority of “news” customers are past “what happened”– they want to know “how it happened.” The days of the “Front Page” have been gone for a few years. We live in a “nanosecond” world and newspaper buyers now read the paper for comfort when they have time. For the most part, the majority know the news, scores, stocks and anything else deadline-driven almost instantaneously on their mobile phone, computer or 24-hour cable news channel…

…to the owners and publishers who still consider themselves “newspaper people” one can only say, “Change or go out of business.” They need to accept the fact that they play a different role in the global communication world. There is still a need for newspapers but in a different form, frequency, etc. The Internet works 24/7/365 and that should be the core from which the newspaper, magazine, news services, etc., fall out in a given period…

…If you think like a “newspaper person” you get “newspaper think.” If you think like an “information provider” with assets that can provide new products or services you start to think about technology, real estate, creative services.

Excellent stuff and spot on for broadcasters as well as newspaper people.

Professor Honack is appearing at Strategic Leadership: Making Radical Change Happen May 12–15, 2008, in Chicago

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