You Have to Not Suck

In order to make it as a newspaper:

At a time when daily newspapers seem to be going away at the rate of
one a week and weeklies are madly cutting to stay afloat, The
Chronicle, which has revenue of approximately $8.5 million a year, has
not laid off anyone, has no plans to do so, and its business is off
just 7 percent in the last three years.

Part of the reason may
have to do with price (free) but there is something else afoot. The
Chronicle is knit into civic and cultural life in Austin to a degree
that may make other newspapers nervous. While other regional news
outlets do house ads and commercials about their connection to the
community, The Chronicle started the South by Southwest conference, its
founders have helped finance local filmmakers, and when you step off
the airplane and see a huge bookstore branded with The Chronicle’s
name, it’s clear that the weekly plays big for its size.

Relentless, inescapable marketing.


3 thoughts on “You Have to Not Suck

  1. Well, there’s that, and also there’s this:
    Louis Black, The Chronicle’s editor and founder — along with Nick Barbaro, the paper’s publisher — does not want to tempt the angry media gods. A very conservative person in some regards, he points out that the business has lived on cash flow since the outset andnever has taken on any significant debt or partners. They own The Chronicle’s building and the building where the festival is set up.
    I’m going to go weep silently for awhile.

  2. the fact that the local daily fishwrap was totally in the pockets of the real estate/development crowd and Austin’s far too liberal for that didn’t hurt either

  3. Gosh, you’d think the people that run the Chronicle took, like, How To Run A Successful Business 101 or something! Positive brand name recognition, saturation marketing, reasonable pricing, reasonable profit expectations, sensible debt management, and producing a product that people want.
    Is this really that hard? *Really*?

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