Postmedia’s CEO Andrew MacLeod plans to accelerate move to digital era
As Postmedia Network Canada Corp. ends one fiscal year and begins another, its chief executive Andrew MacLeod explored some of the successes and challenges faced by the media giant in a wide-ranging interview with journalist Jason Young that appeared in the Financial Post.
After nine months as CEO, MacLeod sees 10 straight quarters of double-digit digital advertising
revenue growth as one of Postmedia’s crowning achievements.
He regards that as a major feat when the big players like Google and Facebook are eating up huge chunks of the advertising dollars.
He is also proud of the exceptional journalism produced by Postmedia’s network of newspapers that span the country.
“We continue to be recognized at every major awards ceremony and to do amazing, innovative work,” he told Young.
He addressed Postmedia’s recent partnership with The Logic, an upstart media company focusing on the innovation economy, saying it is a way to explore the sale of subscriptions for content bundles that focus on particular areas of coverage. He cited The Athletic and Axios in the U.S. as examples of how this bundled content can gain traction with readers.
Postmedia is under scrutiny in Canada for a number of moves, including the announcement of a new initiative, Postmedia Politics.
Defending this move, MacLeod said, “We looked at the media landscape in Canada and we found there was a shortage of viewpoints that come from a pro-innovation, pro-free-market, smaller-tax, smaller-government perspective. We saw an opportunity to fill that from a strategic point of view.”
He added there is plenty of evidence that audiences are hungry for political news. “We have one of the largest aggregations of journalists in Canada. We wanted to try to find a way to leverage that strength.”
He denied that this is an attempt to centralize or control editorial strategy. He maintained this new initiative is an attempt to fill a market opportunity and to make sure “we offer a wide range of voices that aren’t always represented in the media landscape.”
He said the critics of this new approach are “not balanced and they don’t espouse accurate reporting.”
He can understand why they would attack Postmedia as a corporation but “what I find deeply regrettable is that they feel it’s okay to attack the credibility and the integrity of the journalists and the journalism that we produce.”
Like most media companies, Postmedia faces major challenges in the year ahead.
MacLeod said the company has been successful in starting the move into a digital environment but it is not enough.
“We’re going to accelerate our transformation; continue to be lean and efficient in our operations; and continue to invest in the transformative aspects of our business that are providing revenue growth.”