Tampa Bay Times CEO thinks digital
Conan Gallaty took over as CEO of the Tampa Bay Times in mid-January after a 20-year career focused on digital media.
As the paper’s print business model declined, financial constraints led to layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs. Currently, the paper is profitable, including on a net operating basis as per Gallaty.
Below is an edited excerpt Q&A with Gallaty as per Poynter:
It’s been a little more than two years since the Times cut from seven daily print editions to two, amid a steep drop in advertising from the pandemic. Do you still consider the cutbacks temporary?
It depends on print advertising being restored. The truth is most of our ability to distribute seven days a week was made possible by large national advertisers. The print schedule won’t return until national advertising comes back, and that is not likely.
What about going Sunday-only in print?
The financials for us today support Wednesday and Sunday delivery.
Many legacy news organizations are trying to convert print readers to digital. What strategies have worked best for the Times?
One strategy that has worked is making the e-newspaper excellent (and) freeing it from the constraints of press-restricted deadlines. We have additional pages of content in sports and politics and a lot of different topics in our e-editions. The e-newspaper used to be considered a bridge product, but it actually has a long shelf life. Readers enjoy a number of benefits: the familiar layout; a linear, contained product with a beginning and end; a shared experience with other readers.
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