This afternoon at BIA/Kelsey’s ILM East, Boston Globe publisher Chris Mayer got things going with remarks that shed light on how a traditional media company is transforming itself to a new digital era business model. His challenge is not finding a digital strategy, but a strategy for the digital age.
“We have been part of local interactive since 1872,” Mayer said.
Back in 1872, Mayer said, interactivity meant going to press as late as possible to get as much content as possible in the paper, and letters to editor, which created dialogue. Interactive now is radically different. And it changes expectations for what the newspaper business model will be going forward.
Mayer said The Globe won’t essentially change what it does — gather info, verify it, present to people, and engage with them as they react to it. Verified content is one of the things that differentiates newspapers like The Boston Globe, and will continue to do so. What has changed radically is the business model.
He talked about the necessity of moving to a paid model for its online property. If you don’t get the paper and consume Boston Globe content, you will soon be paying for it. How to get there is the company’s critical challenge.