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2015 State

of Local News
Startups
Michele McLellan
LION Summit
Oct. 2, 2015

Surveying the landscape

www.micheleslist.org

2015 Survey: Revenue gains
 70% reported revenue increases
17% doubled revenue

2015 Survey: Revenue
 $50k or less - 53%
 $50 -100k - 13%
$100 – 500k – 24%
$500k - 9% -

Professional ad sales
Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial
Journalism study of 22 online start ups:
 Significant revenue growth by upping
sales game
 Journalist doing sales and editorial –
sales flat
 Passive, network sales stagnant; rates
falling

Professional sales
Competition for sales pros is fierce
Look to readership to identify prospects
Employ a full-time rep
Local, local, local

“Finding the right sales people as
definitely been the hardest part.”

- Kelly Gilfillan, Home Page Media Group

Compensation
 Combination of salary and commission

 Incentives and bonuses
 Adds up to a living wage

“We wanted our sales person

to have the opportunity to
make $70,000-$75,000.”

– Kim Clark, Noozhawk

2015 Survey: Advertising
 Primary source – 72%
 Some ad revenue – 22%
 Traditional display ads – 94%

Revenue diversification
 Sponsored content
 Membership/loyalty programs
 Crowdfunding

Questions?
Thank you!
Ad sales study available at www.towknight.org
Info.micheleslist@gmail.com
www.micheleslist.org
www.michelemclellan.com