Newspapers As Aggregators?

Rance Crain, President of Crain Communications, sees an opportunity that might benefit newspapers and his own content-producing media business.

The answer, I have come to believe, is for them to become aggregators of information by outsourcing their news holes to others already producing the material.
Already, firms such as CNN and Bloomberg are gearing up to offer such services, and niche magazines could supply features for lifestyle pages, including fashion and home furnishings.
My own field, the trade press, could provide expert business coverage from a unique what-it-means perspective. Trade papers give their readers inside, behind-the-ropes views of industry developments. What newspaper wouldn’t want a piece from Women’s Wear Daily on fashion trends or from Oil & Gas Journal on where the price of oil is going, or, I modestly submit, from our own Automotive News on why the General Motors/Chrysler merger is not a good idea?

Crain is saying newspapers might want to start seeing themselves as being in the business of “delivering” the news, rather than “producing” the news. That might be a hard shift to make in the newsrooms around the nation. However, like Crain, I’d like to syndicate AdPulp content and see the news holes filled.
The only daily newspapers that cover the ad beat with any regularity today are The New York Times and Chicago Sun Times. So, it’s plenty obvious how gaping this particular news hole is.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.