People want news about their neighbors … and they want to access it anywhere

Kate Richardson

Feb 1, 2021

“We went from a TMC (total market coverage) — 30,000 circulation — to a paid subscription model,” he said. “And now we re only doing 6,500 papers, but the good news is two years ago, we were averaging 80,000 people a month on our website. And now we re averaging 170,000 people a month on our website. That told us people love the content, but more people would rather read it on their phone or their iPad or their desktop. That s how I think people have to look at it now — you re really not buying a newspaper; you re buying a multimedia company.” (Click to go to thepress.net)
Robinson

Brentwood (California) Press Co-owner and Publisher Greg Robinson started at the Press as the sixth employee in 1999.

“The paper was just getting started,” Robinson said over the phone recently. “I was hired as a special projects guy, selling logos on a poster for 2000. One thing led to another … I became the sales manager and then I became the associate publisher.”

After 10 years, Robinson became the publisher and general manager as the owner shifted to an absentee owner role. “About five years later — so 15 years into my stint — he was ready to sell the newspaper. And I suggested that he sell the newspaper to me versus to selling it to someone else.”

Now, eight years into ownership with his wife, Sandie McNulty, and their 15 employees, Robinson says it’s a good time to purchase a paper. “The world is changing,” he said.

“I think more and more people are getting a little disenchanted with some of the social media that's happening in our world,” Robinson continued. “Whether it's a printed version of that community newspaper or a digital version of that community newspaper, that's the other thing that's changing. I believe ‘the will of the people’ want that community news — the local sports, the high schools, the kids, the city council, local heroes and accomplishments, but people are definitely reading it differently.”

The Press has adapted to the times by launching an app available in the app store as none other than ‘The Press.”

“We went from a TMC (total market coverage) — 30,000 circulation — to a paid subscription model,” he said. “And now we're only doing 6,500 papers, but the good news is two years ago, we were averaging 80,000 people a month on our website. And now we're averaging 170,000 people a month on our website. That told us people love the content, but more people would rather read it on their phone or their iPad or their desktop. That's how I think people have to look at it now — you're really not buying a newspaper; you're buying a multimedia company.”

Kate Richardson is the managing editor of the National Newspaper Association Foundation's Publishers' Auxiliary. Email her at kate@nna.org