Two years ago I chronicled how the Star Tribune of Minneapolis had become a widely celebrated fast horse in the slow field of metropolitan newspapers.
An enlightened billionaire owner, a talented publisher and a news-hungry civically attuned audience all have helped the Strib weather the continuing woes of sinking print advertising revenues and digital disruption. Even more important, a stream of innovative projects, well executed, have generated enough revenue to keep whole a well-staffed newsroom with 245 editors and reporters.
Now as the first financial results for 2018 begin to roll in, a second look seems in order. The organizers of the annual America East media conference also thought so when they invited publisher and CEO Mike Klingensmith to give the meeting’s keynote in mid-March.
Two among Klingensmith’s spartan collection of Power Point slides grabbed me.
The first is a chart showing revenues and projected revenues over a 12-year period. It doesn’t look much like the downward ski slope you see in similar graphs for the industry as a whole.
Print advertising revenue is falling markedly at the Star Tribune as it is elsewhere. But the rate, Klingensmith told me in phone interview, has remained steady at about 9 percent. That’s half the typical decline publicly traded chains have been reporting in recent quarters and reflects the Star Tribune’s emphasis on keeping print strong.
The top band of the chart, while not expanding quickly, shows that “other” revenues like events, digital marketing services and printing contribute roughly 10 percent of the revenue total.
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/news/why-does-star-tribune-outperform-pack-metros-update